Facebook Timeline change – what you need to know [Updated]
Facebook already has a reputation for redesigns, overhauls and general tinkering with the site – usually to the dislike and occasionally fist-slamming-fury of Facebook users. Now, Mark Zuckerburg – Facebook’s founder – is rolling out what are potentially the social media network’s biggest changes to date.
Facebook Timeline: ‘the story of your life’
At the heart of this change is the Facebook Timeline, where Zuckerburg says users can share ‘the story of your life’. So what exactly does that mean?
Essentially, Timeline is a redesign of your profile and the information that appears in your newsfeed. Currently all of the updates you share and your interactions with other Facebook users are treated equally and displayed by date on your wall. So your ‘waiting for postman…still!’ update is as important as your ‘given birth to a baby boy’ update. It’s essentially a snapshot of the last few weeks or months of your life.
With Timeline, Facebook wants your profile to feature fewer postmen and more births, less ‘watching X-Factor after hard day’ and more ‘just got a job as an astronaut’. Timeline will highlight the key events in your life; births, birthdays, graduations, new jobs. Anything that involved champagne.
The service will be automated, with Facebook’s clever bots and algorithms picking out keywords to highlight your big days and create the timeline. But ultimately – and perhaps crucially – it will rely on users to edit and influence their own timeline – choosing what’s important to them.
Perhaps most controversial is the suggestion that users create a timeline that covers their whole life – at the preview at the f8 conference Zuckerburg showed off a picture of himself as a bouncing baby. Users will be encouraged to profile and timeline their whole life.
Another privacy concern?
With Facebook already locking horns with privacy campaigners over their constant and confusing fiddling with privacy controls, the idea of having a for profit organisation that supplies information to advertisers access all of history and memories is likely to set off alarm bells. Did you go to Alton Towers for your 7th birthday? Post it on your Timeline and expect Alton Towers adverts to start popping up in your newsfeed.
Timeline is now available to all Facebook users. Simply visit this page and click the link when prompted to activate it.
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