If you haven’t heard, Facebook is slowly unveiling their new Timeline layout. From what I can tell, they keep pushing the public release date, but you do have the option to start the new layout now.
This is Facebook’s most drastic layout change to date. To sum it up, Timeline is an entirely new Faceook experience. You will now be able to “tell your life story with a new kind of profile.” The new profile layout reminds me of a scrapbook, with “highlights” of your life (which oddly enough, Facebook determines what it thinks your highlights are.)
Instead of a long list of status updates, comments, photo streams, and app highlights on your profile, the Timeline combines everything together in groupings on the timeline (get it?!) A giant “cover photo” graces the top of your profile, which is unfortunately not protected under any privacy settings. Be forewarned, there isn’t the conventional wall that we all know and love. We have lost the clean, easy layout and the simple news feed. This layout is set up much like a blog is, with the ability to search back into your “Facebook life.”
Knowing the inevitable was coming, I bit the bullet and tried the new layout. There is a seven day grace period before my site goes live to preview my Timeline for content and privacy settings. The settings are completely different now because your Facebook profile will feature everything you have ever done on the site. (hint: if you are really strict about your privacy settings, change to Timeline now so you are able to use the grace period to your advantage.)
With a click, I can now see status updates from 2007 or when I became Facebook friends with Steven (October 7, 2009). I literally just spent an entire hour Facebook stalking myself from high school. It shows you every old status updates and post you have ever had. I now know that I joined Facebook on November 7, 2006. My first status update was “ready for the weekend.” ( some things never change!)
Timeline is just a reminder that nothing is forgotten on the internet. (how scary is that?!)
My take? It’s a pretty cool portrait of your online self. Although it’s entertaining to look back on your life, the layout seems messy and disorganized. I miss the simplicity of older layouts, the almost sterile quality that Facebook had. It’s different, and it’s going to be interesting to see the future changes Facebook is going to make. As a communications graduate, it’s fascinating to see how social media is being molded and changed as it continues to grow. What’s in store? Who knows, but this new layout is a huge step for this social media platform.
Now if only I can figure out how to teach my mom about Timeline…