Facebook Timeline has been available for a few months now – first accessible by a hack and then through Facebook’s own Timeline website. Facebook hasn’t been secretive about their biggest profile design change ever, but then again, they haven’t exactly been pushing it on users either. Compared to some of Facebook’s other redesigns and product introductions, letting Timeline grow organically was a smart move. For a change this drastic – both in profile design but in the entire ethos of Facebook – it was best to let users adopt on their own timeline (yes, that was a pun).
However, starting today, it looks as if the grace period is coming to an end. News is out today saying that Facebook will start to transition every user’s profile over the next few weeks. If your profile is chosen to automatically move to Timeline, you will have one week to edit and revise what content you want to show (or likely more important, what content you don’t want to show). After that one week period, your Timeline will be enabled for good. Unfortunately, the past “How to disable Timeline” feature – that is, just refusing to opt-in to Timeline – won’t be an option anymore. Thankfully, once your Timeline is live, you’ll still be able to edit and revise what is shown, but you’ll have to act quick because any of your friends will then be able to see your past events if they stalk your profile before you get a chance to clean it up. So if you don’t want your boss or parents having access to a picture of you funneling or playing Dizzy Bat at your college tailgates, you’re going to want to clean your profile up during the one week transition period.
Of course, if you are totally excited about heading into this Brave New Facebook World, you can get Timeline now and forgo the wait.
I thought that Timeline would be really cool from all of the initial layout and concept leaks, so I did the hack linked above to get it months ago, and many of my friends have as well. It does take a while to get used to the layout change, but not as long as you would think. I really love the cover photo; for me, it’s the one spot to offer that first glimpse into how I want to be represented online. And it was also cool going back years in my Timeline and seeing my past (online) social life. Like all of those random college “friends” I added the summer before my freshman year. Oh, the early days of Facebook…
Sure there will be people complaining over a design change, threatening to leave Facebook. It never happens. And despite this being an opportunity for the biggest threat to leave ever (Timeline, while really innovative, is quite a vast shift from past Facebook designs), I actually think it will keep people on Facebook even more. And more time per user equals more money. Hey, they have to keep impressing investors somehow, with the big IPO planned for Q2 2012.
Do you already have Facebook Timeline? Are you a bit uneasy about having to switch to Timeline? Do you want to wreck your own individual havoc against Facebook by (gasp!) deleting your account? Let us know in the comments!