If you’re a Facebook user, you’ve probably noticed that some of your friends profiles have started to change. Maybe you’ve seen people mentioning Timeline, or have been prompted to update your profile. Well, Galleycat did an excellant article about setting up your new profile, and Facebook has it’s own page devoted to it, but here’s our take as well.
First off, Timeline makes your profile look different, but it doesn’t alter your content any, so don’t worry about losing things. It arranges all your activities (status updates, photos you’ve uploaded, games you played, etc.) in a timeline, with the most recent activity at the top. You can also go down your timeline and hide activities you don’t want everyone seeing, and make some activities feature more prominently.
It’s important to realize that Timeline makes all of your past status updates and activities (from whenever you first started using Facebook) visible again. Here’s a good article on how to make sure your privacy settings are in order.
Timeline will be more appropriate to social users of Facebook than professional users. It sort of naturally organizes your profile in a more casual way. That isn’t a bad thing for professional users, but it’s something to be aware of. If your profession involves crafting a personality (say as an author or actor), then you can have a lot of fun with Timeline.
Overall, only time will tell if Timeline turns out to be cool or annoying, but so far I really like the fresh feel of it. Ever since Google+ launched, I’ve noticed Facebook trying to modernize the way their site feels, and I think Timeline is an impressive change.
Here are some of my favorite features so far:
The “Cover Image”
Your new Facebook profile now shows two pictures. Your normal profile picture, which also appears when you comment places, and a new “cover image” that takes up the width of your profile. This is a great place to highlight a wonderful photo you have from traveling, or show a picture of you with your family, or anything else. Authors, I recommend using a picture of you at a reading or author event, posing with your book.
The best part about this feature is that it’s optional. So if you don’t have the perfect picture to feature there, you can forego it, and your profile will still look really clean. If you do have a picture that would work well there, by all means use it! It’s a great way to show your personality.
I’ve had a Facebook account since 2005, so it’s really cool to go back and look at my early status updates, old photos, etc. Timeline lets you jump from year to year, or you can just keep scrolling down to see earlier points on your timeline.
It’s really easy to “hide” status updates and the like that you don’t want appearing on your profile, without actually deleting them. I like this because it lets you choose what other people see, without limiting your actual activity. Good for someone like me who uses Facebook both professionally and socially.
Have you started using Timeline yet? If so, what do you think of it? Any specific question we can answer?