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Ready or not your Facebook will go the way of Timeline

Today is the last day to prepare your profile before all 800M+ profiles transition to Timeline

Technology trends and news by Krystal Peak
December 28, 2011
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/22ff

While you have a few more days to pick the resolution you will enviably break days, if not hours after the new year rings in, you have about 24 hours to prepare your Facebook for the complete transformation to Timeline.

That's right, tomorrow is the day when all Facebook accounts will officially reflect the new Timeline design and if there are photos, status updates or other activity that you want to keep from those co-workers you begrudgingly added last year, then I would get to work now.

Timeline was initially announced in September at the f8 conference and rolled out to a select group a few weeks ago, and to any account-holder just a few days ago. If you have been putting off the transition, it may be time to face the truth -- we are all going to have the scrapbook-esque stylized accounts from this point on.

While I might be one of the few like actually likes the new design, it isn't without flaws and area or re-learning and re-tooling.

Chronology

Facebook has always based its activity wall on a basic chronological organization but this layout puts an even stronger emphasis on when events occurred and allows people to jump right to a particular year or month -- all the way back to when you were born.

Once you are switched over to the Timeline set-up, you can go back and add in life events from when you met loved one or places you've moved to or trips you have taken and work-related events.

You certainly don't have to go back and fill in all of the events and activities in your history, but it is an encouraged way to create a digital road map of your life and when different friends, photos and places intertwined with you.

Depending on how interested your friends are in filling in their chronology, you may also get notifications when they put in events that you shared and even the year or day that you met -- but like most aspects of Facebook, you can choose to unfollow an event or thread if this becomes too frequent. 

Photos


The new layout is putting a different, greater emphasis on the photos that you upload or are tagged in. Right at the top of the new design is a large vertical photo that allows users to really showcase a great landscape picture or another image that depicts your personality -- your profile image is now just a small mugshot in the top left corner.

Facebookers can also add an image or whole album for each event in their life to compliment the visual focus of the layout -- and much like creating any album, you can choose the main image that will be focused on.

It takes some time to go through all your albums and events to choose which primary photo you want to get the prominent placement on your page, so I'd get started.

Life map

Like most of the Internet, Facebook has been growing its geotagging presence and now you can tag where your are writing your status updates from, where your photos were taken and you can retroactively show the places you have been and when you where there. 

All of these feasters may sound intrusive, and they are, but they all become part of the user map that lets you see the imprint you have left around the world.

Over time you can track where you have been and with which Facebook friends -- its like a virtual map on your wall without all of those pushpin hole to fill up when you need that security deposit.

There are some flaws in the system since that I hope get worked out soon since the map is telling me that I was born in Honolulu, HI (but the map is showing me under the Golden Gate Bridge.)

Privacy

All of your privacy settings remain the same in the Timeline feature, as they would have been before -- the only difference is before, it took a lot of patience to scroll through thousands of posts to go back a year or five. 

Much like Google+ circles, you can set up groups so that you can share different posts or albums with different people in your friends' list. 

Also keep in mind when you make new events and posts that you see if you are posting as public, private or some customized setting you have created.

There is also a new feature for those people who don't want to just delete items. This feature is called "Only Me." As you are curating your profile for the Timeline transition, you may not be sure what you wish to keep and what you want to be invisible so you can label it for your eyes only and keep the memories without concern that friends or family will see them -- if you later choose to delete or make it public, you also have that option.

What do you do now?

In order to see just what your profile will look like you go to the introductory site and edit before pressing the "apply now" button. You will still be able to edit and add as usual after you publish, mush like a scrapbook, but after you publish people can see anything that you have authorized for their access.

Change is difficult, but it is time to embrace Timeline and make it a virtual scrapbook that you are proud to share.  

 

 


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