Jewish Journal

You now have a Timeline | Changes on Facebook | New Facebook Profile

by Nicole Behnam

December 17, 2011 | 7:02 pm

The Facebook Timeline. A New Facebook Profile.

Issues regarding the privacy of old posts are becoming a primary concern on Facebook for users who log in and post statuses or pictures frequently. Now that Facebook is introducing a new feature, people are becoming frantic.

Facebook began with a simple mission: to connect friends. Seven years after its launch, the social network enjoys over 800 million users who communicate, share, and interact through the site.

No, there’s nothing new about the Facebook Login or Sign Up process, as usual. But pay attention to a new breed of Facebook Profiles.

The Facebook Wall is being replaced with a Timeline—a virtual scrapbook of your Facebook life (activity, photos, comments, et al.) since its inception.

Mark Zuckerberg says the Timeline creates a new way to share life experiences, but marketers see this as a way to gain brand exposure and loyalty through “likes” and shares.

So what does this mean for you? And what’s different? Your Facebook profile in its entirety.

Here are some helpful tips to help you adapt to this new, unwanted (or perhaps wanted) change:

Utilize your 7-Day Review Period. Click here to learn about and switch over to the new timeline. Once you upgrade your Facebook profile, you will have seven days to get accustomed to the new feature. Facebook, for the first time, is allowing users to “test” a feature before they launch it for everyone on the site. Use this opportunity to your advantage. If you don’t want people to skim through your old public photos, here’s your chance to change your individual privacy setting for each old and embarrassing picture or status.

Choose a “cool” cover photo. I suppose this is the new “Profile Picture.” A cover photo is the new photo that stretches across your page’s width. This doesn’t have to be a picture of you. It could be a picture of anything—your favorite band, your favorite painting, your grandmother, or something completely random and unique. Your “profile pic” will formulate itself into a square-like approximation on the left-hand side of your cover photo soon.

Edit through The Activity Log. Yes, Timeline is bringing back lots of old posts. But before, a friend would have had to click the “older” button several times to travel back to 2007. Now, users can just click on 2007 to see what was going on back then. Use the new “Activity Log” to hide certain stories or posts. If you don’t want to be associated with someone who wrote on your wall in 2007, feel free to delete that person’s post or click on the “Only Me” feature under “Who can see this post?”

Choose what you want to expand. Timeline already tries to guess which of your posts will be shared frequently through the amount of likes or comments it will, or already has, earned. If there is a post that you want to highlight or expand, click on the star at the top right of the post.

Switch over to Timeline NOW. Don’t wait. Trust me. You’re going to get annoyed when your profile abruptly switches over to the new look without your virtual “permission.” And better to get annoyed now than later. Learn about the Timeline BEFORE it launches. I switched over two days ago, and I’m still learning something new about my profile every day.

This isn’t a small adjustment. Prepare yourself for the best and the worst of this seemingly Myspace-like restructure. The change will affect each person’s public persona differently.

“For some, this will be a nostalgic trip through a social network that has captured much of who we are. For others, it will be a bit terrifying to see posts from the early days of Facebook, when it was limited to college students who often shared way too much,” said USA Today’s Mark W. Smith.

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When Nicole Behnam was 15, she joined the school newspaper and discovered that journalism was one of her passions. To take her passion one step further, she called Brentwood...

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