Facebook users have been beta testing a new feature called “timeline.” It changes the format of your personal account page from a news feed list to a timeline based on photos and other posts. It allows you to peruse your Facebook activity in chronological order.
Whether you love or hate the new timeline format, you need to pay attention to what you’ve posted.
With more than a thousand Facebook friends, Maria Volari has been answering birthday greetings all day. She is approaching the new changes with caution.
“I always kind of watch that. I’m a teacher so I know that a lot of my students and other colleagues are on there. I always watch what I put up,” she said.
In addition to bigger pictures, the biggest change to your Facebook layout will be the timeline, a chronological organization of everything you’ve posted on Facebook.
Balasam Yussif has been testing the new layout for the past few months.
“I think it’s a positive experience because if you use it properly you can set it up to be kind of a visual calendar of your life,” he said.
Socialogic is a Chicago firm that helps companies manage their social media policies. They have been playing with the new layout too, and experts here say it will require you to do some work.
“When you set up your timeline it’s important to go through and really kind of take a look at what you’ve got on there and think about do you want that to be indexed and searched and have everybody be able to find it, or do you want just your friends and family to be able to see it? Do you maybe want to delete those college party pictures?” said Jacqueline Zenn, social media strategist.
But in the end, it will be up to users to judge whether the new Facebook is an improved Facebook.
“I think it’s pretty cool. Yeah, it shows you like from the start. It tells a story,” said one Facebook user.
“I think it’s kind of annoying and doesn’t really make sense to me. I think it was fine the way it was,” said another.
“It takes a little bit of effort to get used to it, so we’ll see after a month if I like it or not, but right now it’s kind of a pain,” said another Facebook user.
After you switch over to timeline, you can’t go back. Eventually all users will have to switch to the new format. Facebook will give users a week to change their default timeline before it goes live. Your privacy and other account settings will remain unchanged, and users may edit their profile at any time.
It may mean that you’ll have to go through old posts and delete anything you don’t want others to see.