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Facebook’s Timeline profile to become mandatory



Facebook yesterday announced that its controversial new Timeline profile design is about to become the mandatory format for all its 800 million members. Until now, adoption of the new layout has been optional and as a consequence the vast majority of users have been slow to convert.

Timeline was originally introduced last September and officially became available on December 15. Facebook indicated then that it expected everyone to eventually switch formats, but the speed at which it has gone from optional to compulsory has surprised many and angered a large section of the Facebook faithful.

Of course, it’s always hard to gauge the true level of opposition to Facebook changes. Blogs and News Feeds may be full of disparaging comments, but even if 5,000 people vent their frustration that’s still a drop in the ocean compared to its overall membership. If past behavior is anything to go by, this change will soon be forgotten and Facebook will continue its inexorable march towards the 1 billion user mark.

However, as we have written before, Timeline is a major change and Facebook users will need to take some time to make sure they are comfortable with their new profiles. Photos and posts that were long forgotten may suddenly become visible again, and your Timeline may include information that you no longer want to be made public.

Mindful of these issues, Facebook has included a 7-day grace period in the conversion process, during which you can preview your Timeline and make any changes before it goes public. In our previous post, we included some useful tips on how to hide items or edit your Timeline so it projects the profile you want. You can also see how your Timeline will look to others.

If you want to get a head start on Timeline, you can go to the Introducing Timeline page and click on Get Timeline. The conversion process will include a tour of Timeline features, and Facebook has also provided helpful videos to show you how it all works.



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