Today, Facebook is launching its new “Timeline” functionality out across the globe. Announced at f8, Timeline allows users to display information in a much more visual format, one that reads like a newspaper. The top banner on Timeline is expandable, providing a very visual queue for users:
Before you sign-up for Timeline, there are a few items to know. Once timeline is enabled, a user’s full Facebook history will be much more accessible to others. However, new privacy options do exist:
7 Day Review Period
Anyone that updates to Timeline will have seven days to vet the way their Timeline appears before it is published to others. During this seven-day trial users will be able to double-check the information that will appear to others on Facebook. If a user is satisfied with the information that Timeline shows, they can publish their Timeline immediately.
When upgrading to timeline, users will be able to feature articles throughout their Facebook history or hide articles from others. Not only can posts be hidden, but the permissions can be changed as well.
If confused as to what content is shown to what users, a “view as” option exists. This allows users to view their own profile as another person so they can see exactly what is being displayed. Click on the gear button in the top right, and then the “view as” dropdown:
A new feature that goes hand-in-hand with Timeline is the “Activity Log” that has also been released today. Much like the Timeline, the activity log shows information about users throughout their Facebook history. The activity log shows all information “likes, photos, tags, etc.” and allows users to quickly publish to their timeline or change privacy settings:
For users who want full control, the activity log will display all activity and allow for quick publishing to timeline and privacy changes.
In order to unlock Timeline on your account, head to the Introducing Timeline page and click “Get It Now.”
Postscript by Matt McGee: Two things:
- A mobile version of Timeline is also available for Android devices and at m.facebook.com. Facebook’s blog post makes no mention of when it’ll rollout to the iPhone/iPad.
- EPIC, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, has stated its objection to the seven-day window that Facebook is giving users to review what will appear on the new Timeline interface.