Everything You Need to Know About Switching to Facebook Timeline

facebook timelineAs you may have heard, Facebook is making their new Timeline mandatory for all users in the next few weeks. The new profile format is meant to make everyone's photos, links, and pithy musings much easier to find. It's sort of like a scrapbook page of your Facebook life with a giant, menacing photo of you at the top.

Personally, I like the old format better. I don't know, seems less ... intrusive. More clean. But that really doesn't matter, now does it? Facebook wants everyone using Timeline, so Timeline it is.

If you haven't switched over yet (and are scared to), don't worry, here's everything you need to know about how to use -- and set up -- Facebook's new Timeline.


Your "Cover." Okay, so you may have noticed the huge, gigantic photos sprawled across people's pages lately -- that's their cover. You will have to choose one, too. You can pick a photo you already have and love, or you can upload a new photo you love (you should love this photo as it's going to be gigantic). If you really don't want to look at a big, banner-esque picture of yourself every time you log on, choose a photo of something like a lovely sunset, or Kim Kardashian.

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Your "Info." You, most likely, already have your info on your Facebook page -- your job, the school you went to, your relationship status, etc. But the thing about the old format is you had to click to see this info expanded. With Timeline, mostly everything is already out there, ready for people's viewing pleasure. So, if you haven't updated this portion in a while, now might be a good time to do so.

Featured Content Categories. In addition to your Info, Timeline displays four categories of different types of content. By default, the categories are Friends, Photos, Map, and Likes. You can swap out other categories (Subscribers, Subscriptions, Notes, to name a few) by clicking the drop-down menu and choosing something else.

Activity Log. Above the Featured Content Categories is a button called "View Activity" and it shows a red counter of posts that require approval before appearing on your profile. A drop-down in the top right corner lets you filter to only see certain types of activity or content published through specific apps. You should think about perusing through all the content in the Activity Log to make sure you know what you're sharing and with who.

Privacy. Facebook preserves the privacy settings you had with your old school format. The new “Limit the Audience for Past Posts” privacy control lets you apply the “friends only” setting to anything you published publicly or to more than just your friends.

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So, it's not as daunting and confusing as it seems. The biggest thing is finding what gargantuan photo you want scrawled across the top of your page. Once you've got that, it should be smooth sailing.

Do you have the new Timeline? Do you like it?


Image via dtweney/Flickr

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