The timeline, Pt 1: An overview of Facebook’s profile changesArticle added by Amy McIlwain on October 6, 2011
Amy McIlwain

Amy McIlwain

Denver, CO

Joined: August 26, 2010

From selective sharing to digital footprint curating, Facebook is taking big risks to stay on top of the social networking hierarchy.

Brace yourselves — Facebook has already begun the phasing process of vast profile page changes as of last week at the F8 Developers Conference. CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, announced the unveiling of the Timeline:

“If the original profile was the first five minutes of your conversation, and the stream is the next 15 [minutes], then I want to show you the rest,” says Zuckerberg.

He adds that the timeline will be “the story of your life,” calling it a “new way to express who you are.”

It would seem that Facebook has finally retaliated to the recent launch of Google+ with their own version of circles: Facebook’s friend lists. They’re even dabbling in Twitter’s bread and butter: the ticker, a real-time feed of activity from your connections.

From selective sharing to digital footprint curating, Facebook is taking big risks to stay on top of the social networking hierarchy. Here’s what you need to know about the profile changes and how you can take advantage of them:

Your cover.

Use this wide open space to share your personality, your experiences and your life with your network. It’s the first thing people see when they visit your timeline.

Your stories.

Share and highlight your most memorable posts, photos and life events on your timeline. This is where you can tell your story from beginning, to middle, to now.

Your apps.

The movies you quote. The songs you have on repeat. The activities you love. Now there’s a new class of social apps that let you express who you are through all the things you do.

So there you have it — Facebook’s reformulation of the new profile pages which, according to Zuckerberg, is an integral part of the Facebook experience:

“We wanted to design a place that feels like your home. You invest a lot of time in it and you curate it.”

Regardless of whether Zuckerberg is emphasizing the personal aspect as his motivation to update the profile pages, or if it was in retaliation to the Google+ launch, so far the changes have had mixed reviews. As the changes gradually roll out in the next couple of weeks, we’ll be able to see if the risky updates are worth it. In the meantime, check out the tips below that will help you understand the best ways to interact with the updates.
  • When you get your timeline, you can choose to publish it immediately or take a few days to review what’s there and add anything that’s missing.

  • If important parts of your story aren’t included on your timeline, you can go back to when they happened and add them.

  • Go to your private activity log where you’ll find everything you shared since you joined Facebook. Click on any post to feature it on your timeline so your friends can see it, too.

  • Facebook apps need only ask permission once to share stories on your behalf.

  • All “lightweight” information is going to the ticker — a real-time list of things your friends are posting now that scrolls down the side of your screen.

  • You can watch TV and movies, listen to music and read news with your friends — all within Facebook.

  • You no longer need 25 likes on a business page in order to grab a custom URL.
Let us know what you think of the changes: Do you like them? Do you dislike them? Do you think they’ll benefit you? Also, if you have any questions regarding the changes, don’t hesitate to send me a message, and stay tuned for next the follow-up: The timeline, Pt 2: How the Facebook changes will affect your business’s marketing strategy.

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