Facebook phasing out support for Internet Explorer 7

Facebook phasing out support for Internet Explorer 7

Summary: Facebook has started phasing out support for Microsoft Internet Explorer 7. The browser is not allowed to show the new Timeline profile, and renders the old one instead. This is just the beginning.

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Facebook is starting to phase out support for Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 (IE7). First to go is the service's new Timeline profile; when IE7 users visit Facebook profile pages, they don't see the Timeline version, and are instead presented with the old profile design.

That's right; if you want to avoid Facebook Timeline, use IE7 for your Facebook browsing, although you should know that it doesn't render the social network very well. Alternatively, you can set your user-agent to IE7 in your favorite browser, be that a new version of IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Opera, according to The Sociable.

Back in August 2010, Facebook announced plans to end Internet Explorer 6 support for Facebook Chat. Nowadays, Facebook is pretty much unusable in IE6. Menlo Park is now aiming to do the same with Microsoft's five year-old browser (IE7 was released in October 2006).

IE7 has 5.28 percent market share as of November 2011 according to Net Applications, and 4.26 percent as of last month according to StatCounter. This is in fact lower than IE6, because IE8 followed IE7 much faster than IE7 followed IE6. Microsoft is trying to push everyone to use IE8 (Windows XP) and IE9 (Windows Vista and Windows 7), although it did note last year that companies are keeping IE6 around as a Facebook blocker.

Facebook is unlikely to stop just at the new Timeline profile. Mark my words. This is the beginning of the end for IE7 support on Facebook, even if the company hasn't yet said anything officially. Facebook's Help Center is very vague when answering the question "What web browsers does Facebook support?":

We recommend using the most up-to-date version of one of the following browsers:

I have contacted Facebook regarding its plans for IE7 and will update this article if I hear back.

See also:

Topics: Browser, Microsoft, Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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9 comments
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  • This is great news. MS has been trying very hard to get IE users to upgrade

    This may provide some additional incentive for anyone not staying behind explicitly to block fb. I bet this made MS very happy.
    Johnny Vegas
    • RE: Facebook phasing out support for Internet Explorer 7

      @Johnny Vegas

      Yes, if users upgrade to Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Opera they can use common interface on all computers.
      Chipesh
  • RE: Facebook phasing out support for Internet Explorer 7

    Long gone are the days when sites said, "Best viewed with IE" or "You must have IE to view this site". Ironically I've been seeing a red ex through IE, as in NOT recommended on *this* sites.
    Return_of_the_jedi
    • RE: Facebook phasing out support for Internet Explorer 7

      @Return_of_the_jedi
      Actually due to Firefox's ridiculously accelerated numbering scheme, many websites are not compatible with it, and I am more and more getting the message from pages that I need to use IE to view the content.
      Doctor Demento
      • RE: Facebook phasing out support for Internet Explorer 7

        @Doctor Demento <br>"I am more and more getting the message from pages that I need to use IE 6 to view the content."<br><br>That was funny. You must be surfing through the waybackmachine.<br><br>HNY!
        Return_of_the_jedi
      • RE: Facebook phasing out support for Internet Explorer 7

        I didn't say 'IE 6'...Yahoo mail actually recommends that people with Firefox 9 'upgrade' to Firefox 4, and that people with IE 9 'upgrade' to IE 8.
        Doctor Demento
      • Do not be surprised

        @Doctor Demento

        people like Return_of_the_jedi like putting words in people's mouths so that they say that which they want them to say, and not what they actually said.
        Tim Cook
  • RE: Facebook phasing out support for Internet Explorer 7

    A better option than viewing Facebook with IE7 is to set your browser to impersonate IE7 by changing your browser (Chrome,Firefox,Safari,Opera)'s User Agent, instructions on how to change your browsers user agent and thus disable Facebook Timeline are here: http://fbpurity.com/disable-facebook-timeline.htm
    misterzee
  • Facebook phasing out support for Internet Explorer 7

    it's not good for me
    dineshtech