Just when I was getting ready to update you on Facebook notifications, word came that the Facebook Timeline was launching. First announced in October and then delayed for a few months, the Timeline is basically the new name for a user’s profile page. It is the page you see when you click on someone’s name in Facebook.
Some of the changes are aesthetic, like a huge “cover image” at the top of the page in addition to the user’s profile picture. (I can already anticipate a new market for graphic designers in creating custom cover images. Actually there’s already an app for that. Yes I tried it. Here’s my current cover).
Changes in functionality include a new emphasis on “Life Events”. So instead of adding a status update, link, or photo, you can also choose to add a life event in categories such as Work & Education, Family & Relationships, Home & Living and a few more (see screenshot below). Then within these categories you can get more specific: bought a house, had a child, or my favorite one, broke a bone (???). No, my favorite is probably Tattoo or Piercing. How you choose to use these options are up to you. You certainly don’t have to add your life story unless you want to do so.
Customize privacy and sharing of Life Events
You can customize the privacy level of each Life Event, which is a good thing. However I noticed that when I added one (bought a house in 1999) it defaulted to “Public”, where I had previously set my default sharing to “Custom”. So be aware and change it from Public unless you want everyone on Facebook to know about your new tramp stamp or nose ring.
I think my favorite new feature is the Activity Log. This is a page that only you can see, that shows you everything you’ve ever shared on Facebook. You can go back in time and review all your postings. You can adjust the privacy setting, hide the post from your Timeline, or delete it completely. More about the Activity Log here on Facebook Help.
When will I get my Timeline?
According to this article on AllFacebook.com, users should start seeing a link at the top of their pages soon. Or you can get it now using this link. Once you use that link you have seven days to preview it (and delete old embarrassing posts if necessary) before your Timeline goes live to the world.
As with previous changes to Facebook, I’m sure some will hate it and some will love it. I kinda like it myself. What do you think?