Facebook Timeline: Friend or Foe

There is no doubt about it, come 30 March there will be a lot of facebook users who will be left scratching their heads when their profile is switched from the traditional layout to the new two-column lauout that is Facebook Time. With the recent decision by Facebook to migrate all individual users to its new Timeline layout on the 30 March, now is the time to look at the pros and cons of each new feature.

Think of it as an online scrapbook of your life. The two column timeline allows you to add ‘life events’ for dates that were born pre-Facebook such as when you were born, or when you graduated primary or secondary school.

Many critics of Timeline argue that it is now easier to find older posts that you may not wish others to see. With a click of the icon against each item on your timeline you can choose to hide any posts that were made during a somewhat emo period that you would rather forget about or not be visible.

Cover photo: Timeline allows for creative cover photos , you can upload a large banner-like image at the top of your profile which sits independantly of your profile pic and is set to be visible to the public – which may unnerve some users. With the introduction of Facebook Timeline for Pages, it will allow companies to use the additional real estate in the cover photo to promote competitions, new releases or flex their creative muscle. In order to be part of the conversation with customers that are already in play, companies will increasingly find it important to have a standalone site as well as a facebook page.

There are many sites such as Timeline Cover Banner or Pic Scatter (see below example) that allow you to generate custom cover photos using creative themes. Handy for those who don’t just want to upload a standard photo.

The top of the timeline lists your friends and photos, nothing too out of the ordinary there. However the Activity Timeline button allows you to go through a list of recent activity and set the visibility of each item.

All in all Timeline poses the biggest reform to Facebook and further allows its users to build their personal brand online.


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