Facebook Timeline has been on the back burner for months now, after it was first announced at the company’s f8 conference in September. Despite much delay, it is finally rolling out to the public, starting with New Zealand. That means it’s only a matter of days before it comes to you, so brace your News Feed, because the fans and protestors are coming in full-force. In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about Facebook Timeline.
The new features are significantly different than any other upgrade to Facebook before. Timeline presents a way to digitally document your entire life, from birth to present, via wall posts, photos, announcements and events. Consider it a neatly organized social scrapbook with a visually pleasing interface.
The New Facebook Profile: Timeline
Timeline is a radical departure from previous versions of the Facebook user profile. The most prominent feature is the addition of a cover photo at the top of the page. Users can change this to whatever they’d like it to be.
If you haven’t already received an invite to Timeline, and don’t want to wait any longer, you can enable it now in eight simple steps.
Timeline was supposed to be released to the public in
September. October. November. The feature was set back, possibly after a copyright infringement lawsuit was filed against Facebook by Timelines.com. Later, Facebook admitted it was taking its time to roll out Timeline to users, relying on more technically adept people to experience the features first. Mashable‘s Lance Ulanoff explains, “Facebook is trying to educate the media on the fundamentals and benefits of Timeline.”
What to Do With Your New Timeline
So, if or when your Facebook Timeline is activated, what exactly should you do with it?
That’s up to you, and how much you want to reveal to your friends and followers. But there are a lot of new features that have the potential to create a captive, visual biography. Regardless of how much information you choose to fill out, there are a few different methods and privacy-related points to consider.
1. The Timeline Menu Bar
As you scroll down your new Timeline, a floating menu bar will appear at the top of your screen. Use it to add new events.
What does all of this mean for Facebook’s more than 800 million users? That depends on your stance about the new features.
Facebook Timeline is a way to document your entire life, from birth to present, but because the company began in 2004 for college students, it might take some time and effort to manually fill out.
Some have already jumped into Timeline and are getting creative with their profile presentation, most specifically cover photos, which is a new feature that includes a personalized image at the top of the page.
1. Ekkapong Techawongthaworn
Playful and fun, we’re big fans of Ekkapong’s rainy creation.
What About Privacy?
Some have clamed, in criticism of Facebook Timeline, that by encouraging users to fill their profile, the company is seeking to capture more user data to further appeal to advertisers. Others have expressed concern that it is now easier to discover information about a person that was previously difficult to access. Further more, some believe these additional features regarding users’ personal information may encourage identity theft.