Facebook Dec. 15 began its worldwide rollout of Timeline, the company's new user interface that features older photos and other information from earlier in users' lives.
Timeline is available everywhere for computer users, as well as via the Facebook for Android application and the social network's m.facebook.com mobile Website. The new UI is not available yet for devices based on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), including the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
The social network bills Timeline as a way to help users rediscover the things they shared and collect important moments. Timeline packages users' personal histories online on one easily accessible Web page to facilitate easier information sharing.
The application also includes social applications, such as Spotify and Netflix, so users who sign up can "frictionlessly," or automatically, share their music-listening and movie-watching activities with their friends on the network.
Users will be prompted to upgrade to the Timeline UI when they log into the network, but the company is taking a careful privacy measure. Once users upgrade, they'll have seven days to review everything that appears on their Timeline before anyone else can see it, said Paul McDonald, an engineering manager on the Timeline team.
However, once users are satisfied with how their Timelines look, they may publish the results at any time. If users take no action, McDonald warned that Timeline will go live automatically after seven days, replacing users' existing profile. However, users' stories and photos will remain.
Users may preview how their Timeline appears to other people by clicking the gear menu at the top of their timeline, and selecting "View As."
Users may also "design" their Timeline presentation by featuring favorite stories about themselves. To do this, users must mouse over the story and click the star to expand it across two columns. Users may also hide, delete or edit a post by clicking the pencil icon.
The privacy dropdown menu allows users to select who can see posts. There is also an "only me" option for posts users don't want published for others to see on Facebook.
The "activity log" is important. This is a sort of dashboard that lets users review their Facebook posts and activity since they began sharing information on the network.
Facebook included two dropdown menus next to each story in the user's activity log. The first dropdown lets users see and adjust the privacy of a post. The second gives users the option of allowing a post to appear on their Timeline.
There is also an "All" dropdown at the top of the activity log that lets users find certain stories, such as only photos or posts from social applications.
Users may access Timeline a couple ways. They may go straight to the Timeline page and click "get Timeline," or wait until Facebook announces Timeline at the top of their profile.
Timeline will be available for Facebook for Android users and those who access the network from m.facebook.com once they enable it from their desktop PC or laptop.