Well the new Facebook Timeline is coming soon, whether you like it or not. For the few people we have spoke to that have been able to activate the timeline profile and use it, the feedback seems to be positive.
We have had the opportunity to set up our Facebook Profile with the new Timeline feature (if you haven’t activated yours, you wont be able to see ours… yet)
Some of the basics
If you had a chance to watch Mark Zuckerberg’s entire Keynote speech [see it at bottom of this post] during the F8 (Facebook Developer Conference) you would have a better understanding of why Facebook is making the changes to your profile as well as the new components they are adding. However, if you don’t have 1.5 hours to watch the video I will try to give you a breakdown of what was said and what it means.
Timeline – “timeline” is the term used to describe the new design for Facebook Profiles
Cover Photo – the timeline features a single, large photo at the top of it called Cover Photo
Ticker – contains short snippets of friends activity
Newsfeed Update- a new look for Top News/Recent Stories within your news feed
While “Timeline” is currently available only to ‘developers’ you can get it now in a few simple steps
Scrap booking, just like grandpa used to do
One of the main parts of the keynote centered around a story that Mark Zuckerberg presented where he talked about how his grandpa used to enjoy scrap booking. The idea that someone could visit his (grandpa’s) house and pull one of these off the wall and strike up an extensive conversation about the contents within was fascinating. The thought of being able to easily access memories and look back quickly is one of the cores to the new Facebook Timeline.
The new profiles, highlighted by your “cover” photo [see above], are a very creative and a bit more artsy way to present your “Facebook Life”. And that is something that we want to point out here… your Facebook Life. The profiles take on a very graphic look/feel and pictures/events are shown and emphasized more. This is very interesting and the new profiles seem to lend more towards the overall Personal Branding that you can accomplish on the social network.
Something that is very clear when using the timeline is that Facebook wants you to add important ‘things’ moving forward but also, in the past. Your timeline almost becomes a place to see all the great happenings throughout your life (and it can go back to your birth if you want).
Adding Items to Timeline
Adding things to your Facebook profile and timeline are now very easy. When viewing your timeline you will see a menu bar at the top (in white, sometimes just shows a bar with a PLUS [+] sign). When you roll over the different icons you can then add your events.
Work and Education type events may include; a job, retirement, schooling, etc while your Family and Relationships may include; getting married/engaged, having a child, etc. There is also the Living, Health and Wellness, and Milestones and Experiences icons for additional events. Using these options will bring up specialized windows to enter info about whatever it is that you are adding including the ability to ‘back date’ that event. Once you have the timeline enabled visit the very bottom and make sure to post a photo of when you were born.
Click to Add
In addition to using this menu bar you can also simply roll over the actual BLUE LINE running down the length of your timeline and click to add an event right there. Once clicked, a share box comes up with a date relevant to the specific spot you clicked.
Sharing: From Private to Public and everywhere in between
With the addition of the new Listing Functionality that Facebook added a few weeks ago sharing your posts and updates etc are now easy to send/share with only the people you want. When posting something to your wall or when adding events to your timeline make sure to choose the proper ‘share settings’ and you will be happy with the results (and so will your friends/connections)
Feature a post on your timeline
As part of the more artsy (fartsy) and creative component of the new timeline features Facebook has made it very easy to “Feature” an item/event/etc on your timeline.
As you can see above, when you roll over a post from your timeline you have a few options. The little pencil to the right allows you to “hide from timeline” and “delete post” (which should both be self explanatory). You also have the star which allows you to feature that post [see below]. By featuring a post, it makes that post the full width of the timeline. This is great for people that have something specific they want emphasized or highlighted and works REALLY GREAT when adding a photo with the item.
Hide From Timeline vs Delete Post
A quick note from the previous section. When making your timeline all pretty and nice, Facebook now gives you the option to remove things from public view (vs deleting). This is a nice additional component extending privacy controls.[see below]
If you choose “delete post” the post is completely removed from both your timeline as well as your “activity log” as opposed to the “hide from” option which leaves it on your activity log (accessible by clicking ‘view activity’ at top of timeline).
This Activity Log is pretty cool because you can go allllll the way back to your very first post on Facebook and see everything in between.
Most of us have already seen the recent changes to our Newsfeed and the addition of the new Ticker. Below is a shot of the Ticker which shows on the right hand panel (usually above our chat list). The ticker streams many of what Facebook deems as ‘less important’ posts. Updates like people becoming friends, liking their friends comments, etc.
The ticker feature works in conjunction with the new setup of your Newsfeed which will show “Top Stories” vs “Recent News”. Your old newsfeed showed these same components but you had to click between tabs (at the top right, do you remember lol) to see one or the other.
With your new Newsfeed, Facebook deems Top Stories eligible to show at the top of your newsfeed and then shows everything else (that is not in the ticker) underneath.
Social Sharing/Gestures via Apps like Spotify/Netflix/Readers
We wanted to make sure to cover one last, but not least, group of features with your ‘New Facebook’. With the addition of several featured apps, Spotify for example (a desktop music app similar to Pandora and iTunes), Facebook is geared to start a whole new world of social sharing. [note: developers will surely be launching thousands of these types of apps shortly]
They are utilizing a new component to sharing called Gestures. Whereas, you can currently like a page on Facebook or another Website, you can now take that to a new level. With Spotify for example when you listen to music on your computer through this program it shares what you are listening to on your Facebook page for your friends to see. The hope being that it causes interaction between friends and connections and should garner exposure to tons of previously unknown bands and artists.
The same concept is true for things like apps that let you read articles from certain sites without leaving the Facebook window within your browser. There will be integration of Video sharing from sources like Netflix and more. So if I am watching a movie through Netflix (which would be connected to Facebook) my friends would see that within their feeds and tickers. They can then comment and even join me in watching by simply clicking the play button.
There is lots more to learn about your New Timeline. But we hope this info is enough to get your started. Make sure to take a look at all of your Privacy Settings because many of the new apps will share things that you may not want shared. Try not to get all ‘up in arms’ when the new profile launches until you give it a chance and get used to it a bit.
We like it a lot and believe that, given a chance, you will too…. Enjoy!