Opinion Brief

Timeline: 'The greatest thing Facebook's ever done'?

For better or worse, Facebook's new profile lays out a user's entire online history in an easy-to-graze chronological format

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"

Recommended

Facebook reportedly responding to bad press by promoting Facebook on Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg
No News is Good News

Facebook reportedly responding to bad press by promoting Facebook on Facebook

Huge hack of web services provider Epik could be 'Rosetta Stone to the far-right'
Anti-fascist protesters
'embarrassment of riches'

Huge hack of web services provider Epik could be 'Rosetta Stone to the far-right'

Facebook's monstrous empire
The earth.
Picture of Ryan CooperRyan Cooper

Facebook's monstrous empire

Consumer Reports brutally reviews Tesla's steering 'yoke'
A Tesla.
yoke's up

Consumer Reports brutally reviews Tesla's steering 'yoke'

Most Popular

7 cartoons about America's vaccine fights
Editorial Cartoon.
Feature

7 cartoons about America's vaccine fights

Did Theranos Lose Afghanistan?
Elizabeth Holmes and James Mattis.
Samuel Goldman

Did Theranos Lose Afghanistan?

Feds charge 2 GOP operatives with funneling Russian's money to Trump campaign
Ron Paul and Jesse Benton
Loose ends

Feds charge 2 GOP operatives with funneling Russian's money to Trump campaign