Last week, Facebook began forcing its Timeline layout on the holdouts who have made it since September 2011 without upgrading to the new format. Reports from India said that Facebook would move all users to Timeline by August 13th; however, a Facebook spokesperson says that “the clock is different for everyone” but the transition will be complete by Fall 2012.
Here are a few reaction comments about the switch:
Some believe Facebook’s force to Timeline is a response to falling stock prices because it follows Facebook’s ongoing pattern of gradually making more and more of its users’ data public.
If you’re a lover of Timeline, you’re in the minority. Some reports say as many as ninety percent of Facebook users dislike Timeline, and privacy concerns top the list of reasons why. With timeline, your past and the present are on equal footing. Old posts you thought were buried by time resurface inches away for what you did yesterday. Forgotten photo albums, videos, and events are all viewable with a simple scroll.
Managing your privacy in a post-Timeline world requires a bit of education, but in just a few minutes you can do a lot to keep your past where it belongs. The biggest thing you need to learn is how to use your Activity Log.
Three quick lessons to help you manage your Activity Log:
Lesson 1: Understand what your activity log is and what it can do.
Your Activity Log contains every action you’ve ever taken on Facebook since you created an account, from Likes to comments to pokes (and no, it’s not socially acceptable to poke, nor was it ever). In your Activity Log, you can delete things, unlike things, see the audience for a post, and adjust privacy settings for your own posts.
Lesson 2: Know where your activity log is and how to access it.
Step 1: Log into your Facebook account.
Step 2: Go to your profile page (technically it’s called your Timeline now).
Step 3: Click the button labeled “Activity Log” at the upper right corner of the page, under your cover photo.
Step 4: You’re now looking at your Activity Log. Scroll down to see your recent actions. To find older actions, click on the Timeline date bar on the right side of the screen. You can also view your past activities by category by clicking the content button that says “All” at the top right of your Activity Log.
Lesson 3: How to change something in your activity log
Step 1: Unlike something. Click on the content button to get a drop-down menu, and select “Likes.” Everything you’ve liked on Facebook will appear from newest to oldest. Choose one and click on the small open circle on the right of the description, then click “unlike.” Confirm in the window that pops up. The liked item will disappear from your Activity Log.
Step 2: Change the audience for one of your own posts. Select “Your Posts” from the content button. Choose a post to edit. You can either hide the post from appearing on your Timeline by clicking the small open circle to the right of the post description, or you can adjust the audience for that post by clicking on icon beside it. You can choose from “Public,” “Friends,” “Only Me,” “Custom,” or any of your friend lists if you’ve created them.
Note that you have less control over posts you make on other people’s Timelines and on pages for companies or products, which brings us to the next task…
Step 3: Deal with fan pages. Scroll down to find what you want to edit. Using the content button is tricky here because you’ll need to remember whether the content you want to edit was a post (made directly to the wall), or a comment (made under an existing post, like a photo or someone else’s statement). Choose a post to edit. Note that it will be set to public (you’ll see an icon of an earth), and you cannot change it. Your only option is to delete the content. Click “Delete,” confirm in the pop-up window, and the content will disappear from your Activity Log.
Your Activity Log can be confusing, but once you get the hang of it, it provides a one-stop-shop for deleting and managing your content on Facebook.
What do you think about Timeline? Did you switch willingly, or do you prefer the simple profile layout?