Become Conversant With Facebook’s Timeline Feature
Officially released over a month ago, Facebook’s new Timeline feature brings a new, attractive look to your profile, as well as the ability to see all your posts since you first began using Facebook. Getting a better understanding of what this feature can do for you and how you can use it is the focus of today’s post.
Upon first inspection, you will notice that all of your Facebook posts are now a timeline, with the newest posts at the top and the oldest ones at the bottom. By default, only the past month’s posts are displayed, but if you scroll down, the previous month’s posts will automatically load. If you go further than that, you will see highlights from the rest of the year.
On the right side of the interface, you will see an actual timeline, where you can jump to specific time points. It’s pretty self-explanatory. In addition, you can move to certain time periods using the dropdown menus at the top of the page, as well as deciding if you’d like to see All Stories or just Highlights.
The top of the Timeline page has other useful links and features, including access to a list of your Friends, a novel view of your Photos, your Likes, and a diminutive About link underneath your profile picture, where you can view your Basic Information, About Me, Work, Education, etc.
Adding Events To Your Timeline
You can still add a status update or photo to the top of the Timeline, as usual, but now, you can also add blocks to earlier parts of the Timeline. For example, if you have a baby picture of yourself, you can add it to the beginning section of your Timeline. To accomplish this, find the desired spot you’d like to add the content and hover over the blue line in the middle. Your cursor will turn into a plus sign from which you can click and add any kind of post you want.
In addition, you can move an extant post. To do this, hover over the post and select the pencil icon that appears. Click Change Date to move it where you want it to appear on your Timeline.
Customizing The Look Of Your Timeline
While the functionality of the Timeline is comparably to the Facebook you know and love (like?), the aesthetics have changed and can be customized to a great extent. A good place to start is your Timeline’s Cover.
Now, you have two main photos for your new profile page. One is your profile picture, which you should already see displayed. The other is a Cover, i.e., a large, high-res photo that appears behind your normal profile picture. To add one, select the Add a Cover button on the right side of your profile and either add a photo from your Facebook photos or from your computer’s hard drive. This photo can be changed any time you desire by hovering over the old photo and selecting the Change Cover button that appears.
Another new feature you may be interested in is the ability to star a post. If there is an entry you or someone else has posted that you’d like to draw attention to, hover over it and select the star button. This action will make the post wider and stretch it across the columns of your Timeline, making it more conspicuous. Inversely, to remove or hide a post from your Timeline, select the pencil icon next to the star.
Make Older Posts More Private
If you have been a long-time Facebook user and have not always been discriminating about what you post, you may become uncomfortable with the idea that your friends can go back years and see all your posts. So, some settings tweaks may be in order.
You have several options. One, you can go through your Timeline and hide/delete individual, problematic posts. Alternatively, if you have old posts that are either public or shared with friends of friends, you can change their privacy setting to Friends Only with a single click. To implement this setting, select the arrow next to the Home button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Go to Privacy Settings | Limit the Audience for Past Posts. Select Manage Past Post Visibility and click Limit Old Posts. This will make all your past posts visible to Friends Only.
Keep in mind that, going forward, all your posts will be subject to the same privacy settings you previously specified (or whatever Facebook decided for you if you never changed those settings).
Head over to Lifehacker for more links on Timeline and how to manage your privacy settings.