Timeline – Facebook’s Christmas present to you 

Facebook TimelineFinally the new Timeline profile is being rolled out, like it or not… considering most of the general public has whined and complained about the most recent changes to Facebook. Timeline might be a different story! Businesses will still have to wait for any changes to the Pages. This new Timeline profile can be of great benefit to those business owner who do it the right way and engage their customer base from a personal side. Although change is always hard, I think most people will get used to this change a little quicker. It basically makes your on-line life a scrapbook.

Here are a few pointers to help ease your mind!

There’s a seven-day review period. Once upgraded, Facebook users will be able to work through their Timeline and get things ready before it goes public. During the seven-day review period, the Facebook user will be able to publish it at any time. If he or she chooses to wait, it will automatically go live after the week is up.

Your cover photo is your chance to make a splash. The most striking feature at the top of the new Facebook profile is the cover photo, which stretches across the page’s width. The Facebook user’s profile photo, which is seen across the site, is now just a small square. Most are using this opportunity to make the profile photo a simple face shot and have used the cover photo to show something more personal, like a pet or favorite vacation spot.

For the business owner, you can get very creative and import an image that you have added business info or content too. Remember, you still want to give it a personal feel.

Keep in mind, you can not add links but certainly add call to actions such as “Follow me”

Another thing is to try and place contact and call to actions in the lower third of the image. That is because at times that is the only portion of image displayed until the viewer expands it.

No new information is being shared. Yes, Timeline is bringing back a bunch of old posts. But these posts have long been viewable on Facebook. Before, a friend would have had to go to a profile and click again and again for more posts, but would eventually travel back in time.

Your privacy settings on old posts will remain. A post shared four years ago that was set to be viewable to just friends will continue to be viewable to just friends. The only concern here lies in how a user’s definition of friend has changed. A photo or status update that in college that was OK for friends might not be OK for friends now, which might include coworkers.

Posts can be expanded. Timeline already tries to guess which of your posts will be the most interesting and it makes those viewable. It can try and guess here by how many likes or comments a post has received. If there is a post that should be expanded and is not — like a new job or college graduation — you can expand it.

The Activity Log is the best place to edit a Timeline. Facebook has built a very helpful new page called the Activity Log, which can be accessed from a profile page, that shows every single piece of content Facebook has from a user. Each item can be deleted or tweaked from this page.

For your eyes only. If there is a post in your Timeline that you don’t want to zap completely from Facebook, but don’t want anyone to see, you can change the post’s visibility to “Only Me.”

Users can add other life events. Facebook is hoping that users flesh out their Timeline with information from B.F. (Before Facebook), too. Anything added to the Timeline can now be given a date. So, if a user uploads an old photo from summer camp, he or she can set the date to June 1995 so that it appears chronologically in the Timeline.

As with all change it will take time but this is one change that I think most users will come to embrace.

Information gathered from Mashable.com and USA Today Tech News