Facebook Timeline goes live--out with old, in with new

The social network is letting people tinker with the information shared in the Timeline before it gets pushed live. After seven days, however, it's automatically made public.

Facebook's new Timeline.
Facebook's new Timeline. Facebook

Facebook's more than 800 million members will now be able to convert their profiles to the new Timeline design.

The world's largest social network announced Timeline in September, and now it's available worldwide. The feature replaces current user profiles and dramatically overhauls how information is shared on the service.

"It's a way to tell all the important stories from your life on a single page," Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said when he announced the new feature at his company's F8 Conference.

Timeline shows all the updates a person has added to Facebook since they joined the site. It also follows the social network's desire to provide users with a single place to showcase what has happened in their lives over the years.

Aside from a prominent picture at the top and basic information below it, Timeline has a right sidebar listing years in chronological order that you can click on to see what a user shared on the site, who they made friends with, and other information for any given period. Timeline even includes a map where people can input where they've been around the world.

Facebook said this morning that people can head over to its Timeline information page and turn the feature on. Upon doing so, they will have seven days to review their timelines and decide whether certain photos or wall posts shared on the site over the years should be shared or kept hidden from view.

I loaded up Timeline this morning and was immediately hit with a sense of nostalgia. I went back to updates and posts friends put on my wall years prior. In many cases, they were things (and events) that I had long forgotten. But Facebook hadn't. And now, my friends and I can relive some of those moments.

Timeline has privacy features.
Timeline has privacy features. Facebook

Aside from that, I was pleased with Facebook's decision to let me customize just about everything in Timeline. If there was something I didn't think should be shared any longer, I simply made it private. And if certain information was worth sharing again, I made it publicly viewable.

Inevitably, some folks will complain about Timeline's design and Facebook heaping major changes on its user base. But from what I've seen so far, it's a solid update. It offers privacy features, it comes with a nice design, and it makes getting to know people (in the virtual world, at least) a bit easier.

Facebook said it will automatically push the timeline live seven days after someone signs up for the new feature. However, if folks are content with what's shared after reviewing it, they can push it live themselves at any point within that period.

Mobile users hoping to access Timeline will be able to do so from Facebook's mobile Web site. Android handset owners will also have access to Timeline in the Facebook for Android app.

Update 10:26 a.m. PT to include details on mobile launch.

 

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