It's here: After a September preview, Facebook is now rolling out its dramatic profile redesign — Timeline — to its 800-million-plus global users (watch a video tutorial here). The "entirely new kind of profile" collects every moment and detail of a users' life, every status update and post, and organizes the material in chronological order. One commentator likens it to "an obsessive compulsive's digital scrapbook." User can opt in to the upgrade and enjoy a 7-day review period before their new profile is made public, or simply wait until Facebook switches over all old profiles, which it plans to do. Another commentator calls Timeline "the greatest thing Facebook's ever done." Is it really?
Timeline is truly impressive: "This is the single greatest change that Facebook's ever pushed on us," says Sam Biddle at Gizmodo. Facebook now has the potential to provide a visual history of an entire life, from birth to this morning's breakfast. And, it's easy-to-use and unexpectedly "beautiful" given Facebook's typically lacklustre design. Sure, "there's a certain element of lost control" with Timeline and it's "a little messy — but hey, so's life." This is an exciting, "enormous leap for social networking."
"Facebook Timeline review: This is the greatest thing Facebook's ever done"
And seductive: "From what I've seen so far, it's a solid update," says Don Reisinger at CNET. While some users are likely to balk at such a big change, it's easy to customize and set privacy controls, it looks good, and it allows you to get to know people even better online. After making the switch to Timeline myself, I was "immediately hit with a sense of nostalgia," seeing all my old photos and updates. For better or worse, it's all there.
"Facebook Timeline goes live — out with old, in with new"
But it's also a bit of a pain: Facebook's big change may necessitate that users "do some privacy housekeeping," says Kashmir Hill at Forbes. "Many people, when building their networks, weren’t thinking about the information that would be exposed years after." It's a good idea to limit sharing to friends, and to unfriend people whom you don't really care about or want knowing all about your past.
"As Facebook Timeline rolls out, find out how well you know your friends"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Here comes the Pentagon's newest space plane
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- Extreme haunted houses: Inside Halloween's most terrifying new trend
- How foreign aid screwed up Liberia's ability to fight Ebola
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- The simple trick to making better decisions in every aspect of life
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
Subscribe to the Week