The Facebook timeline update has been in the works since last year and pretty soon, it will be the universal format for all users. Using a completely new layout for profile pages, the timeline – previously optional – will be rolled out to all Facebook users by the end of January.
Facebook touts the timeline as giving users the opportunity to create more personalized pages that highlight the events, people and photos that you want people to see.
Once you see your profile updated to the new format, you will have seven days to preview the content and make adjustments as necessary. One of the biggest changes is what Facebook calls the “cover” which is essentially a huge banner on top of your profile that you can occupy with photos, scenic pictures, or leave blank if you’d rather not bother. Mashable pulled together this great list of resources that provide banner templates, if you want to create something special. The possibilities are endless for your cover.
In terms of privacy, past Facebook changes make people a little wary of how their information is handled. With the new layout, you can customize past posts and assign it to different groups, people or leave as is. The new timeline is about full exposure though (if you want it) and now every post you've ever sent or received is available for public viewing.
You can go through each one that you'd rather not have visible and change the privacy setting. To save time though you can make all previous posts accessible to just friends by accessing your privacy settings (located in the little upside-down triangle next to your name at the top of the screen), scroll to the "Limit the Audience for Past Posts" header and click on "Manage Past Post Visibility." This will automatically ensure that all your posts are for friend-viewing only.
But, it is important to note that moving forward, any event you add to your Timeline is automatically assigned to “Public” view, unless you designate otherwise. There’s a drop-down menu that lets you determine how limited or exposed you want the post to be. If you want to read up on all the privacy settings you can implement with timeline, check out this helpful article by PC World.
There are more features in timeline that allow for more personalized options. Since the timeline has been available for a couple months to those who have wanted to make the change, it has gotten mixed reactions. Some people love the new layout and appreciate having more design control over how their profile is featured, while others are steadfastly resistant to constant Facebook changes give prior sitewide mishaps (Facebook Beacon, for one). But if you use the site on a daily basis to interact with your friends, you may enjoy taking the time to customize your profile page with only the things you want people to see. As with anything that's a departure from what you're used to, it takes time to re-adjust.
For more information on additional timeline features from Facebook itself, check out the company's overview here.
What do you think about the new format? Are you going to utilize all the new features that are available?
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