Is it just me or does it seem like we’ve been hearing about the coming of the Facebook timeline for years now? Alright, so maybe it’s only been a few months, but still why all the chatter and speculation? What’s the big deal? Does it affect me? If you’re one of the 845 million Facebook users in the world, it does, so listen up.
Before I get started and go off on a timeline tangent, let me first explain what this timeline thing is. Facebook Timeline is a new interface for both personal and business pages; it comes equipped with new features and lots of changes. These new features allow users to brand their page with a unique cover photo; and display their life events, starting from day one to present. These events appear on your “activity log” in a timeline format that showcases your photos, status updates and wall posts. The features allow businesses to do the same, brand their page with a cover photo, and display their company’s timeline.
On top of allowing friends and fans to get to know you better through previous accomplishments, awards; and milestones; timeline also makes it easier for people and businesses to manage everything in one place, your activity log. As Facebook explains it, timeline or activity log allows you to, “see and respond to your recent activity and private messages right from the top of your page.” So to recap, Facebook timeline is a new interface for both profiles and pages, that allows users to create more meaningful connections through sharing their life events as well as providing a more organized format for users to manage those connections.
So when are these fancy new features and changes coming your way? Very soon. On Friday, March 30, EVERY Facebook profile and page (brands included) will be switched over to the new format, whether you’re ready or not. Don’t fret. I’m here to make sure you are ready. If you act as fast you can, you can still enjoy the trial period that allows you to play around with the new format before it goes live for all your friends, family; and fans.
The first step in converting your profile to the timeline and starting your trial period is to press the “get timeline” button or “preview” option. I highly recommend taking these next few days to edit your timeline, because as I may have forgotten to mention, once your timeline goes live, all of your wall activity, starting from the first day you signed up for Facebook, will appear on your profile. So, during your trial period you may want to go through your timeline, or activity log and “hide” those life events you don’t want to share, like that one time in Mexico, and maybe that other time at happy hour. This “hiding” feature works for anything on your timeline, including posted photos, conversations, places you’ve been; and brands you have liked. So like I said, take the next week to go through and mold your timeline into the self-image your comfortable with sharing.
The other new change you need to make to your profile before letting it all hang out is add a cover photo. This cover photo will be visible to the public and the first thing that catches peoples eyes when they visit your profile, so you probably want to choose a photo that represents you, like a calming picture of the ocean from your last vacation, or a crazy picture from the pit at the rock concert last week. Don’t over think it — nothing is permanent.
Once you have edited your timeline and placed in a cover photo you can hit “publish” or if you’re too nervous, Facebook will automatically publish your page after the trial period is up. If any other questions arise, I recommend checking out the Introducing Timeline information that Facebook has put together for its users.
Now that you know what Facebook timeline is what to expect you’re not so sure how you feel about revealing your past to all of your family, friends and or fans? As always, Facebook wants you to feel protected so check out Facebook’s new privacy features to ensure that only the people you want to be seeing your timeline are indeed the only ones allowed to see it. No creepers allowed.
From here on out, Facebook life as we know it has changed. With my helpful tips I think you’re ready, kid, so go out there and share your timeline. This is your time and space to really express yourself or your brand. Get wild. Get crazy.
- Katie Cohen, Creative Services Coordinator
Photo credit: Flickr user flattop341