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Ready or not, it's time for Facebook's Timeline

December 15, 2011 |  8:31 am

Facebook has rolled out Timeline, its new design for member profiles
Set aside some time for Timeline. Especially if you have been actively using Facebook for years. This is going to take a while.

Fresh off its global debut in New Zealand, Facebook is rolling out its new profile design to all of its more than 800 million users. For the first time, they are getting a look at how their lives are about to appear to all of their friends.

Facebook said in a blog post Thursday that users can either wait for a notification to pop up on their screen or go to facebook.com/about/timeline to get Timeline right away. No point in foot dragging: Eventually all profiles will switch to the new look.

That means that all of those forgotten memories won't be lining the dustbin of your personal history for long. The new design has a way of bringing even the most mundane status update rushing back.

It used to be that profiles surfaced only the most recent stuff. But Timeline is like an obsessive compulsive's digital scrapbook, collecting every detail, no matter how trivial, in chronological order.

It may get people to think twice about what they do and say on Facebook. Or not. It's likely that a lot of people will look at the new profile, throw up their hands and just keep on doing what they've been doing. For now, it probably means that everyone with a Facebook profile is going to spend a lot of time perusing, pruning and doing a whole lot of adding. 

Take it from me: I used a workaround meant for software developers and got Timeline shortly after Mark Zuckerberg unveiled it in late September during Facebook's annual developer conference in San Francisco. I could see what was happening in my life years ago as clearly as today. I proceeded to pore over my profile to highlight what was important to me and hide what wasn't. I also noticed a lot of other folks getting busy adding photos from important moments in their lives to better reflect their lives on Facebook.

It goes without saying that some people will love the new design and some will hate it. It's impossible to make even the smallest change on Facebook without upsetting someone.

If you make the switch now, you have seven days to preview the changes, highlight or hide whatever you want and adjust your privacy settings before Timeline becomes your official Facebook profile.

If you want to see how your Facebook profile appears to other people, click the gear menu at the top of Timeline and click on "View As."

RELATED:

How to get the new Facebook "Timeline" now

New Zealand is first country to get Facebook's Timeline feature 

Facebook updates its status: It wants to be an entertainment hub

-- Jessica Guynn

Image: Facebook's new profile design Timeline Courtesy: Facebook

 

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