Facebook’s much awaited Timeline is finally going public. The profile was first unveiled during Facebook’s f8 developer conference on September 22 and New Zealand was the first area to experience the new look on December 6. Now, the change is gradually spreading across the globe.
Timeline is Facebook’s most radical change so far, a product of a 6-month effort to craft new software that will serve its 800 million and growing users. It turns one’s profile into a browsable history of a user’s entire Facebook life.
There was no definite word of the Timeline’s official roll out schedule, saying it would appear “in coming weeks.” At f8, Facebook hinted that Timeline would appear a week after the conference, but there were no changes to be seen. The delay was partly credited to some legal skirmish with Timelines.com. However, those who signed up as a Facebook app developer were able to turn on the new feature right away.
Further delays were caused by discrepancies in technical, legal or just downright negative feedback…nobody really knows. The buzz around Timeline grew again after Facebook acquired Gowalla, which brought in a design team for location-based storytelling. And then finally, on the 6th, Facebook launched Timeline for its test run in New Zealand.
While major changes may upset those who have loved Facebook and its old look, this one’s pretty impressive too. It’s easy to customize and control what shows up on the Timeline. The privacy settings have stayed the same. There’s an issue of oversharing though. When you connect an app using the new features of Facebook’s Open Graph, then there’s more information shared than usual.
The new Timeline is also available for Android users. There has been a lot of interesting changes and the old home screen is replaced by a new side bar. It retains the old apps and games that you previously have, and it also provides real time alerts.