Are you one of the people complaining loudly about another change that Facebook is making when it rolls out its timeline to replace all users’ current profile pages? Are you suffering from Facebook fatigue or overwhelm as you face going through all your previous Facebook posts and statuses to ensure they are suitable for your current audience?
Instead of waiting for Facebook to roll out the timeline on your account, I would suggest upgrading when you have a quiet hour or so, reviewing your information and then publishing what you want to see in advance of a forced rollout. Facebook will roll out timeline to all users, giving you seven days to amend all your information before it goes live to the world – although it takes on the existing privacy settings you have – so posts will only appear in your timeline when it is viewed by users who have permission to see your posts in your newsfeed anyway.
You will start to see “get timeline” notifications when you log in, or you can follow this link to get started – once you do this you cannot then opt out, and timeline will go live on your profile in seven days.
Once you have decided to go ahead, you will see a skeleton timeline of your time on Facebook, which presents your activity in an easily accessible year-by-year format, and you will see posts placed on your timeline as they were posted.
Your first task will be to choose an image for the top of the timeline – if you find this tricky you will be glad to hear that several brands are starting to provide images for their followers that can be used in this slot – a great marketing opportunity for them, given that timeline is yet to roll out to Facebook pages.
Do take some time to review the way your posts are presented – it is a very appealing interface and gives a great representation of your activity, but you will need to do some editing and change the focus or inclusion of certain posts as you wish. You can choose content to be featured with more emphasis by rolling over the content and clicking the star, which expands it to two columns. The pencil icon remains so that you can hide, edit, or delete posts as you wish – and you will!
By far the best feature of the new timeline rollout is the ability to see what your timeline looks like to other users of Facebook – either at a group level such as ‘public’ or at an individual level by Facebook user – invaluable functionality that will let you check permissions on all your content; to use this feature, click the gear menu at the top of your timeline and select “view as”.
It is really as simple as that – despite the usual public outcry over Facebook making changes to a free system that everyone will continue using anyway – if you spend a small amount of time now editing out anything particularly embarrassing or incriminating, then you will have more confidence when your timeline goes live that you are presenting yourself responsibly online to a specific audience.
As for how Facebook will ever be able to monetize this, that is a whole other story…