What You Need to Know About the New Facebook Timeline Layout

Facebook’s newest profile update was unveiled in September of 2011, but not everyone got to see it right away. A lot of people used a developer’s trick to enable the new profile, and since then, people have been installing it on their own. Facebook has been offering it as a choice up to this point—they haven’t forced it on any users.

That is, until now. Facebook is now urging every user get their newest update—the Facebook timeline. And if you don’t get it yourself, Facebook will do it for you.

While the ever-present naysayers bemoan this latest update, the timeline also has a lot of supporters. But people from both sides are wondering—what kind of privacy risk is this? Each of the 800 million Facebook users are going to be getting this update in the next few weeks, so what should shouldn’t we know a little more about it?

The Facebook Timeline + Style

The Facebook timeline is the most attractive of past updates, and it’s definitely an improvement over the last profile look. The timeline allows you to have a cover photo—a banner over your entire Facebook profile, as seen in the picture below.

New Facebook Timeline

The Facebook Timeline + Privacy

None of your privacy settings will change when you get the timeline—the only difference is that all of your past Facebook updates are going to be more accessible. It’s going to be easier for people to scroll through your Facebook profile and see updates and pictures from four or five years ago—as long as you’ve had a Facebook account.

If you think you might have content back a few years that could potentially embarrass you now, it might be a good idea to go back through and delete or hide posts that you’d rather your new friends not see.

The Facebook Timeline + Past

The Facebook Timeline is the timeline of your life—a life that started before you ever logged onto Facebook for the first time. But now, Facebook is asking you to bring that information into your Facebook profile, though the timeline. You can add major events from the time of your birth to now, complete with pictures!

There is no reason to resist the Facebook Timeline layout (and even if you did, you’d get it anyway), so if you’re ready to fill out past information, make it look more attractive and hide a few past status updates and pictures, you can head to facebook.com/timeline now, and get started!

[Businesses can’t get timelines yet, but while you’re on Facebook, be sure to check out the Smart Solutions page!