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Facebook to shuttle all users to Timeline this fall

The social network says it will roll over its 950 million users to Timeline by "fall." It's time to get your affairs in order.

Facebook Timeline... and yes, that's a squirrel nibbling my foot. Screenshot by Zack Whittaker/CNET

It's time to clean the skeletons out of your online closet. Facebook is set to force Timeline, its newish profile page, on its 955 million users this "fall."

Facebook's Timeline feature -- if you haven't already experienced it -- will likely drag up a lot of your virtual past that you thought you'd left behind years ago. It features a single timeline-like layout in which various stories, life events, comments, Wall posts, and other content branch out from a single vertical trunk. You can even scroll back to the time you were born and add baby photos of yourself. Awwr.

But it also regurgitates much of what you thought had long since gone, or been deleted. In some cases, seemingly private messages sent to friends and family before Facebook fully integrated its messaging service may appear on your Wall. It's not because of a security leak: that's where they've been all along, if you ever bothered to scroll that far down.

Facebook will give you seven days from the time your shiny new profile page is enabled to review it before it publishes, giving you enough time to sweep out the old, delete your angsty teenage Wall posts from years ago, and hide those drunken photos of you standing next to a bus shelter with a traffic cone on its roof because "it needed a hat."

A representative for the social-networking site declined to give specifics on timing, despite some reports suggesting the move could come as soon as next week.

When pressing Facebook for an answer, "fall" was all we got.

Timeline was first introduced at Facebook's f8 developer conference in September. It breaks away from the traditional profile page and acts as a platform for sharing everything -- if not at times a little too much, even if it is for a good cause.

Only recently, a survey showed that many were still creeped out by the Timeline feature, with as many as 17 percent actively deleting content from their online past.