Big players in social media and in the internet world seem to be consistently giving their sites “face-lifts”, and often without regard to the users actually wanting the change. This is the case with Facebook’s new “Timeline”. It is not just a feature, but instead a renewal of your Facebook page to change the layout from a linear stream of information and posts to aggregated sections designed to highlight everything you like, your profile, your photos, and the apps you are using.
The catch is that it is not optional any longer. The rollout will take place over the next few weeks, so it’s time to get on board and review your profile page to ensure it will look as you want it to. It isn’t all bad, and some of us may even learn to like it. Here is what you need to know to transition safely.
- All posts will default to PUBLIC. Review your new and past posts. During each post, ensure you check the inline audience selector and switch it as needed (to friends, etc.) so only who you want to see that information, can see it. If you are ever concerned you mis-marked previous posts, you can see how your Timeline looks to others by clicking the gear icon below your cover image and selecting “View As”. You can change past posts globally through your Privacy Settings or individually by clicking the pencil icon next to each post.
- To make sure your past posts are limited to friends, click on the small arrow on the top right corner of your Timeline. Then go to Privacy Settings >Limit the Audience for Past Posts >Manage Past Post Visibility and select Limit Old Posts. Alternately, you can change the audience by clicking on the small pencil icon at the top right of individual posts to edit or hide them from the Timeline.
- You have 7 days to review your new Timeline. Once you make the switch to Timeline (by choice or Facebook’s rollout), you only have 7 days to make any changes you need before other people see it (e.g. managing post visibility).
- To rollout the Timeline yourself visit Facebook’s Timeline profile page, and click Get Timeline in the lower right corner.
- Facebook wants to know more about you. Facebook has many suggestions for how you can back fill your Timeline. You can add information from the past in such categories as “Work & Education”, “Family & Relationships”, and so on. Simply click on the “Life Event” in your status bar and add away. This actually isn’t all bad, you might enjoy posting life events from your past and allowing others to look at it, sort of like an online scrap book. Keep in mind, however, the more information you put up, the more information Facebook is collecting on you, and the more information people can find about you.
- Is security a concern? Your personal information is very valuable to you, and to criminals. Keep that in mind when posting personal information.
Check out Facebook’s information on the new Timeline profile page.