It’s Time To Stop Worrying And Learn To Love Facebook Timeline

    July 31, 2012
    Josh Wolford
    Comments are off for this post.

Your opinion of Facebook Timeline will soon be a moot point, as you’ll soon be forced to make the switch. Hate it? Loathe it? Wary of privacy implications? Soon, all of your protestations will be lost, like tears in the rain.

That’s because this fall, Facebook will officially force every single user to abandon the old profile in favor of the new Timeline format.

Facebook tells TechCrunch that the recent upgrade to the photo section inside Timeline is the beginning of the end for you holdouts out there. When that times comes, users still using the old profile will be greeted with a message when they login telling them that they have seven days to get their Timeline in order before it goes live.

Have you made the switch to Timeline? What are your impressions? Let us know in the comments.

One of the major complaints with Timeline since it went live is that it drudges up past Facebook activity, and puts it on display for all to see. Granted, that’s true – posts and events from years and years ago could see the light of day for the first time in quite some time due to Timeline. But those posts aren’t anything new, of course – you made them. They never ever truly went away, they were only made less visible by Facebook’s old profile format.

That’s why Facebook’s giving users the 7-day grace period. During that time, users can manage which posts from their Facebook history appear on the Timeline – as well as highlight certain events. That’s about all you can do to make sure that your Timeline shares only the information you want it to share, because the switch to the Timeline doesn’t actually come with any new privacy changes to manage.

The forced switch is a long time coming. Back in December of 2011, Facebook made the Timeline available to anyone who wanted it. And quite a few people made the switch voluntarily. About a month later, Facebook said that they would be pushing Timeline to every user “over the next few weeks.”

“Over the next few weeks, everyone will get timeline. When you get timeline, you’ll have 7 days to preview what’s there now. This gives you a chance to add or hide whatever you want before anyone else see’s it,” they said.

But the push never came. I can count a number of my friends who still sport the old school profile, and I’m sure you can too. However, they did end up making Timeline mandatory for pages in March.

But personal profiles remained unchanged. In the time between January and today, Facebook has been making subtle changes across the site in order to promote Timeline. Last month, a new feature displayed Timeline-inspired hovercards of users names as they appeared around the site (news feed and elsewhere). A few weeks after that, new icons within the chat list began directing users to their friends’ Timelines.

Still, some Facebook users are still wary of the Timeline. Apart from the less-common complaints about being less-than-pleased with its design and features, the biggest complaint concerns privacy. Like I said before, Timeline isn’t creating new content out of thin air. Anything that appears on a user’s Timelines was purposefully and deliberately put there at some point. I mean, you may have been really drunk when you posted that inappropriate picture back in 2009, but hey – that’s not really an excuse.

And if you’re concerned about the things that may pop up on your Timeline under the radar, like some sort of Open Graph activity (listened to a song on Spotify, read an article on Yahoo, etc.), just remember – you had to approve those apps at some point. If you happened to do so by accident, you can always manage your apps within your Facebook settings.

Plus there’s the Activity Log, which allows users to review and manage everything that happens on their Timeline.

“You can adjust the privacy or delete anything you post on Facebook. If the story came from someone else (like when a friend writes on your timeline or tags you in a photo), you’ll be able to review who can see it. You can also control whether stories show on your timeline. On some stories, like posts from apps, you can report the post as spam, turn off publishing from the app or remove the app from your timeline altogether,” says Facebook.

Despite all of this, a recent survey found that 88% of Timeline users were concerned about privacy. That’s a hefty figure – and one that should raise red flags for Facebook. Either they’re doing something wrong or people simply don’t understand everything about the Timeline (which could still be their fault, in a way).

Personally, I like Timeline. It’s not only great for users but for businesses as well. If you take the time to clean it up and make it presentable, it’s a wonderful way to display who you are to anyone browsing your social media presence. Plus, it’s an understatement to say that the cover photo + profile picture idea is rather fun.

But I get it, some people are still hesitant to switch to Timeline. I would suggest that you get over your initial fears and give it a try. But in reality, it doesn’t really matter in the end – come this fall you’re getting Timeline no matter how hard you protest.

What are your concerns with Facebook Timeline? Not thinking about privacy, what do you think of the design and functionality? Will the mandatory switch to Timeline make you reassess your entire Facebook membership? Let us know in the comments.

  • http://xoteria.com Louis Ferriol

    Mark Zuckerberg, so arrogant, believes he is the dictator of the world wide web. The bigger they become, the harder they fall.

  • eric g

    I have just opted out of Facebook Timeline. I cancelled my account because of timeline being pushed through my throat. It easy and facebook helps:

    Deactivating, Deleting, and Memorializing Accounts

  • Garison Piatt

    I canceled my Facebook account because of the Timeline. Not due to any privacy issues, but because I just don’t like it.

    However, had I not already canceled my account, I would have done so immediately after reading this article.

  • http://www.kalamazoohandymen.com Mark Dewey

    Like I said before, if you don’t like it move on.. who cares what you like or don’t like. I for myself try to make this best of what is put in front of me staying focused on working it or not.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/artnip kss9

    Stop worrying? I never started.


  • Steve Mitchell

    Your comments page is even more frustrating than Facebook timeline … which is counter intuitive and user unfriendly .. that goes for both pages

    • Steve Mitchell

      And josh’s attitude stinks .. how much are Facebook paying him

  • Angy

    I can’t work it out. It takes up my whole screen with one or two posts; the photos I post don’t seem to be what my friends see, and my photos don’t all appear on the timeline, but aren’t findable elsewhere; and I don’t seem to be able to add to albums.

    I don’t dislike it; it just doesn’t seem to DO anything.

  • http://Www.indianafloorsllc.com Scott

    We stopped advertising on Facebook when saw GM pull all theirs, our sales have not decreased, this tells me advertising in a social climate like Facebook is a waste of money.
    I just recently shut down my Facebook and disallowed my children from using it after finding the others posted comments on my friends led to full view of their private info and pictures.
    This is set up for child molesters and deviants. Facebook needs to go away before lives get ruined due the blatant invasion of privacy.

  • Kate Lennon

    Timeline is crap. Period.

  • http://secure.hostgator.com/~affiliat/cgi-bin/affiliates/clickthru.cgi?id=gatoruser122 Server guy

    I think timeline is quite good. I have never had any serious issues with it. It also looks far better then that old layout. I made the switch right away.

  • alan

    Timeline is never going to be used by me…. I will cancel/delete my account. Pain in the ass – facebook was fine when it started, leave it alone. Your updates are proof that you live in a dreamworld.

  • Lis

    The layout is clunky and distracts from the posts, it takes longer to load (than previous Facebook layouts), it is annoying and more difficult to navigate – scrolling sometimes rearranges the columns, making a mess of the intended flow of comments and photos – it lacks subtlety and has an in-your-face effect. The choppy, awkward layout distracts from serious content and the effect is obnoxious.

  • http://hartjie.com herman

    I made the move immediately on my personal profile and my most important Page. It works very clumsily – if you scroll down columns jump, it loads slowly but most importantly: My friends and followers on the Page have their posts sidelined. Where I had a Community page on the old profile that encouraged participation, the timeline’s design has smothered conversation.

  • rol wells

    ..Timeline will be the end of FB……I used to spend 2 hours a day on FB but now maybe 1 hour per week because of Timeline..

  • http://johnceberhardt.com John

    I agree with herman, rol wells,lis and alan. I never made the change it annoys me when I look at others (like everyone) that have made the change. The layout is so cluttered and clunky it is obnoxious. It distract from posts, takes longer to load, longer to navigate (annoying and more difficult), scrolling messes with the columns, it sure does mess with the intended flow of comments and photos. I love that I have not had to change yet so I can still compare the two and still love the old layout better. I thought it would grow on me and I would change my opinion but it hasn’t and I haven’t. It has grown on me more like a tumor or wart rather than for the better like having acne go away as you get older or even adding airbags or seatbelts to your new car. The in-your-face, choppy, awkward layout distracts from serious content and the feeling is a huge step backwards. I feel like I traded a smart phone for a desktop dial phone– click, click, click…

  • Kate Lennon

    The real issue here isn’t just that timeline sucks (which it does). The issue here is that there is almost unanimous agreement among facebook users that timeline sucks, and they didn’t – and don’t – want it. Yet it was imposed on them regardless. Hitherto, facebook had been promoted as a social network that belonged to its users. By forcing users to accept a format that they clearly did not want, facebook revealed itself to be a dictatorship; a profit-driven corporate entity that couldn’t care less about its users’ wishes.

    FB’s owners calculated that most users would comtunie to use facebook despite the imposition of timeline because they had already invested time and emotional energy developing relationships with their fb friends, and had come to rely on it to keep in touch with people. However, users’ attitude to facebook has changed dramatically, from one of benign friendliness and loyalty to one of wariness, resentment and dislike. If an alternative to facebook – without timeline – were launched tomorrow, the majority of fb’s users would happily jump ship.

    Facebook may have won the battle to impose a format on its users against their collective will, but in doing so it lost the war for their loyalty and goodwill.

  • http://www.ulc.net Become ordained online

    I don’t mind it, but I do worry about the Facebook tradition of implementing changes that impact users’ privacy. It is too easy to suddely realize that stuff you’d rather not have shown to everyone, or even your friends, is being displayed because Facebook made a change.

    They were smart enough to wait until people were firmly entrenched to do this stuff. It makes it hard to pull out of Facebook in protest, because you’d lose a major connection point with your extended social circle.

    I still think Facebook’s days are numbered. They are on borrowed time already, and the “next big thing” should be coming along any day now.

  • http://www.golf-balls-shop.com lost golf balls

    What’s up, this weekend is fastidious in favor of me, as this time i am reading this impressive educational piece of writing here at my home.

  • Angus

    FarceBook?… FakeBook?… Seriously, anyone who invested in that stock is currently losing their shirt BIG TIME on this joke of a company. Once the tweens and teens and the losers in their late 20’s get sick of it or grow out of it then you will see the semi computer literate parents and grandparents dump it faster than a morning stool if the kids & grandkids no longer use it.

    Watch how fast this POS dives in both popularity and stock price over the next 6 months to a year. Suckerberg will be calling MySpace for help and advice.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/artnip kss9

    I don’t use FB because the company has no respect for its customers.


    • G-zuz


  • justaskosh

    I will be leaving FB and I’m considering a different social networking site.
    LinkedIn is a great site for professionals/businesses, and ning has been useful.
    Both allow comments, profiles, interests…for that matter, there’s pinterest.
    I am a gramma and I only go on FB to see the pix of my grandkids, so maybe I’ll knock my FB page to completely private so I can still see the grandkids and either quit making status statements or customize who can see each and every status statement.

  • http://www.tobesafeandsound.com/ A. C. Reade

    Hate it. Hate it Hate it.
    Did I mention that I hate it?

  • http://p.pavlin.si Marko

    Ehm, what exactly is facebook timeline?

    • Kate Lennon

      Timeline is a page format on facebook that converts users’ posts into a “visual CV”; or, as Mark Zuckerberg puts it: “timeline tells the story of your life”.
      Timeline includes posts you deleted (or *thought* you had deleted) years ago.
      If the police or the intelligence services had a profile on you, it would look very similar to a facebook timeline.

      Many fb users – me included – do not want their “life story” or “CV” on facebook, and signed up to the service solely to keep in contact with family members and friends.

  • Kate Lennon
  • http://www.designer-shoes-replicas.com karily

    Great, what does it mean facebook timeline? how to get more facebook fans?

    • jerry

      Ignorance is “not” bliss!

  • http://n/a pinger

    Here is the thing…if its no big deal and it really does not change things much or ones privacy then why are you pushing it so hard ? why cant we have the choice not to have it? nah…. I dont like it and will not have it, somethings fishy about it, I have already limited my use of facebook and when I get my 7 day notice… I will delete my account as facebook is just not that important !

  • http://girlsghamepad.com J

    I wont be using Facebook, I decided to go back to old fashioned E-mail. It still works and I feel better about the privacy of my e-mail.

  • jerry

    You act like people don’t have a choice? That’s ridiculous! My account will be deleted..although we know they will still hang on my information the nosy Bast..ds!

  • David McCannon

    The news feed is still the same and most people read and comment on things they see on their news feed. Most people will not spend a lot of time looking at your personal timeline anyway. Not a big deal to me.

  • RichardC

    Timeline was the last straw. I have never liked Facebook very much, and have always been extremely wary of the erosion of privacy. But I hate timeline. It slows down using Facebook greatly and I personally hate dilution of content; timeline shoves everything in your face every time you look at someone’s page. Since it is being shoved down our throats whether we like it or not, I have voted with my feet and deleted my account. I know I’ll not miss it for one second.

  • Just Me

    The only reason I use FB is I have friends all over the world and it is easier to share things with them than blasting an email.That being said, I will delete everything I am able to from FB prior to Timeline being forced on me. I have lots of privacy concerns so I don’t put a lot of info on FB or any other site that I use.

    So yes I will keep using FB but I will be putting nothing up of any consequence and will delete it after sufficient time has passed for my friends and family to have seen it. As a matter of principal i will only be using the friend list as well. They don’t need to know who is related to me.

  • JB

    I was tricked into making the switch a couple of months ago by a little video link on FB…I clicked it and my profile changed automatically – without warning.

    Since then I’ve gotten used to it, but still think the old profile was much clearer and more functional.

    To be honest, I’m over the whole Facebook thing…and I certainly don’t think it’s as neccesary for online marketing as many make out.

    I used to log in daily….now maybe once a fortnight – very briefly….eventually I probably won’t bother.