Facebook is about to turn eight years old, and it looks like the social network has some awkward years ahead of it. As the young company is starting to do thing grown-up companies do like form a political action committee to get cozier with Washington, Facebook is having a hard time shedding some of the baggage from its youth. The excitement of Facebook's unveiling of Timeline and new class of social apps last week was quickly dashed by familiar privacy concerns. This week a wave of speculation about why Facebook's iPad app hasn't launched yet left many to wonder why the company looks so disorganized. Inevitably, the growing pains are signs that Facebook is entering a new phase of life, and the transition won't be easy.
Some of Facebook's new grown up problems are familiar ones like outrage over privacy concerns and the user revolt that every new feature refresh spawns. Mark Zuckerberg couched the announcement of the new profile design and app platform in language about how Facebook is making it easier to share your life with friends. However, as tech bloggers quickly pointed out, this means that Facebook will also be sharing more of your personal information with third parties. Following the announcement of Facebook's new features Dave Winer worried publicly that Facebook was was scaring him by not only inviting people to share more but also "seeking out information to report about you." He suggested that users log out of Facebook to protect their private data, but developer Nik Cubrilovic blogged the following day about how even when you logged out of Facebook, the social network's cookies continued to track your activity online. In fact, Facebook has been doing this for over a year.