Facebook’s New Timeline Feature: How to Use It
Facebook has rolled out a number of awkward changes in the past couple of months. While many, like the changes to the News Feed and the addition of that obnoxious ticker, were met with much criticism, others may get a bit of praise. This writer, in particular, has already crept her way into the development section and has had the chance to play around with the soon-to-be-released Timeline profile. Here’s what you should know.
The Cover Photo
Let’s start from the top, shall we? The new Timeline changes the way your “profile” looks to those who visit your individual page. Instead of having to tab down the list of links on the left sidebar, your information and personal updates will all show on one page. The most glaring addition is the new cover image. It’s huge and gives you the opportunity to share a moment in your life, set behind your smaller profile image. They’re not the same thing. Both show. The only rules are that you can’t use a copyrighted or promotional image. Choose something that lets your personality shine.
Personal Information, Friends, and Photos
Your “About” information is beneath your cover image and will show the same things you opted to publicly share before, like your current employer, educational program, hometown, and relationship status. If you opted not to share this information before, it won’t show once the Timeline is enacted. The same goes for your friend lists and photographs. Make sure you double check your albums to determine if you made them public or private. Make sure the ones with those party pictures are marked as “friends only” so that the prying eyes of potential employers don’t find an unsavory depiction of your life after hours.
Your Timeline will show everything you’ve posted on Facebook, including images and activity on other pages. It is important to note that your privacy settings will remain as they currently are. Your problem is that you may have written something years ago, before you understood privacy settings. You might want to go back and review your past posts to determine if you really want them to show in your Timeline. It may be to your benefit to make some of your older, public posts into “friends only” posts. You may even want to consider a custom security setting.
There are some enhancements to the way you post your updates. You can choose your privacy setting, as usual, but you can also flat your posts as work and education, family and relationships, living, health and wellness, or milestones and experiences. This will help Facebook to determine what is important and what is not for those who are not subscribed to all of your updates.
Privacy on Facebook
At the end of the day, your privacy on Facebook is your responsibility. While your privacy settings should not change when the new Timeline rolls out, it will ultimately be your responsibility to take a few minutes out of your day to make sure everything is on the up and up. Remember, it’s a social networking site and it is free for your use. You have no control over what changes, but you do have control over how you use the system.
Have a little fun with the new Timeline when it becomes available. You’ll have the opportunity to work with it a bit before you publish your final product. Give it a chance. You may just enjoy this new opportunity to showcase your life, talents, and skills.
About the Author: Ross Taylor is a full-time writer with a passion for communications, media, and social networking. She also writes about proper communication techniques via email, text message, and even online faxing. Proper technique, via any mode, is key to success.