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Facebook's mandatory Timeline switch: 4 talking points
Like it or not, users of the social network are about to switch over to its controversial new profile format. A guide to the key issues
 
In the coming weeks, Facebook's new Timeline profile format will be forced on reluctant social networkers who have hesitated to make the switch on their own.
In the coming weeks, Facebook's new Timeline profile format will be forced on reluctant social networkers who have hesitated to make the switch on their own.
Facebook

Facebook Timeline is coming for you. In the next few weeks, the ubiquitous social network will begin forcing its long-touted new profile format onto any user who hasn't already adopted Timeline on his own. The new reverse-chronological, image-heavy layout makes it easier for your friends to review any phase of your life documented on Facebook since you first signed on — easily navigating back to that photo you shared in 2008, the post about that job you snagged in 2009 (and lost a week later), plus years-old comments, likes, and so on. Naturally, some social networkers are a bit nervous. Here, four talking points:

1. You'll get to review your new profile before it goes live
Before users are automatically switched over to Timeline (all 800 million of them), they'll have a "seven-day preview period" to delete and hide content they don't want displayed, says Leslie Horn at PC Mag. From "your first friend to your most recent status update," users will be able to review their every Facebook action, and bury anything they don't want featured prominently. Timeline is like a "scrapbook," says Sarah Perez at TechCrunch. It goes back to "the days before your boss, grandparents, mom and dad were on Facebook." Longtime users will have quite a bit of tidying up to do.

2. Whatever you do will now be seen everywhere
Facebook apps like Spotify automatically post all of your actions to News Feed or the news ticker after you give a one-time approval, says Sharon Vaknin at CNET. And it doesn't stop at just music, says Jeff Ward-Bailey at the Christian Science Monitor. "Facebook bills the apps as a way to 'express who you are — a runner, foodie, traveler, music fan, movie buff and more.'" If you're hesitant about oversharing, "consider sorting your friends into lists, so you can better determine what gets shared with whom." 

3. Scammers hope users hate Timeline
Be careful, warns Rosa Golijan at MSNBC. Whenever Facebook makes changes, many users get "riled up" — and online scammers "are loving the fact that they can take advantage of this attitude." People "desperate to get rid of Timeline and revert to the Old Facebook Profile layout" should be wary of fake Facebook Pages filled with deceptive instructions that can post unwanted spam or install malicious malware. The best way to keep yourself safe? "Surrender to Timeline." 

4. But users might actually like Timeline
In the end, "Timeline is pretty great," says Sam Biddle at Gizmodo. Between its inescapable nostalgia factor and the "beautified," photo-friendly new layout, users may actually take a liking to Facebook's overhaul. "I'm predicting an all-time low" in user outrage when Timeline finally hits. "This is like being forced to wear nicer clothes." 

 

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