New Facebook Timeline: How your profile will change

Jonathan Weinberg

Hot on the heels of Twitter's website and app redesign last week, Facebook has finally begun to roll out its new Timeline feature.

The social network's 800 million users are set to experience a whole new way of using the site with Timeline bringing together all your stored content into one giant electronic life scrapbook – fusing your profile and wall.

You get seven days to fiddle with your Timeline before it automatically goes public to your friends. If you want them to see it earlier, then you can choose the option to publish it now.

To help guide you through it, here's 10 things you need to know about Timeline and some tips to make the best of it. But with so much to explore, add and change, there’s probably no better time to start on it than during the Christmas and New Year break.

1) Cover
- The cover is the massive, and we're talking near enough full page width, picture on top of your Timeline. It is one single picture that people see each time they visit your profile. So make sure to find yourself a good one that sums up your life. It may be tricky to find an image of yours, or one you've been tagged in that fits the shape. But you can drag the picture around to get the best use of the space.

2) Activity log- If you've been on Facebook a while then this should bring back some great, and maybe some embarrassing memories. Everything you've ever done, posted, tagged, been tagged in, is readily available and showing since you joined the site. Scroll through and there's bound to be a few hidden gems you'd forgotten about. You can also use it to ensure only certain people can few certain things within your Timeline.

3) Timeline- The whole new appearance may be called Timeline but if you look to the right hand side of the screen, there is an actual timeline showing the years you've been a member of Facebook and any years for events you’ve already inputted such as school or college days. One click on a year gives you direct access to all that you uploaded or were involved with during those 12 months.

4) Add your life- What's crucial with Timeline is using it to create a digital representation of your whole life. If you've got time. If not, a potted history will do for now. Facebook seems to be working hard at turning the site into the one place that features everything you've ever done, and more. So adding a life event will fill out your Timeline with more years, more stories, and more pictures or videos.

5) Life events- The choice of life events to add is huge. Everything from failed relationships, illnesses, holidays and even your first kiss if you can remember back that far. And if there really is something missing, you can add it via ‘other’. Now whether you want to tag the person the first kiss was with is another thing all together. And whether they want you to, or can even recall it, is a whole different can of worms.

6) Privacy- With so much new information about you now on Facebook, it's a good idea to tweak your privacy settings to ensure they're as specific as you need. The snowflake style icon is your privacy dropdown on each post.

7) Hiding- If you don't want to spend ages with privacy controls you can easily hide items from appearing in your Timeline. Just click the pencil in the top right of any post which then allows you to hide, delete or change things around. Remember though, deleting rather than hiding will get rid of the post entirely.

8) Friends- Things your friends post will appear in your timeline if they tag you. They can also post directly to it, just like they could on your wall. To change this, choose ‘only me’ from the dropdown menu under ‘who can post on your wall’. This is under settings in privacy controls for ‘how you connect’.

9) Stay active- In your activity log, you can see everything that’s gone on within your Facebook account split into months and years. You’ll find this is the quickest way to scan through content and decide what you want and don't want on your Timeline. Only you can see what's in your activity log so don’t worry if things appear there you’d thought you’d hidden.

10) Check it first- By selecting ‘timeline review’ from your privacy settings, you can set up your account to see posts and tags from friends first before they go live on your timeline. They'll be in pending status allowing you to choose or refuse them. It will be time consuming though if you’ve a lot of friends who you regularly interact with on Facebook.

If you're not yet seeing the new-look, then click here when you're logged into your account and you'll be able to request it.

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