Whether you like it or not Facebook Timeline is coming your way, and if you were ever worried about having too much information available on your Facebook profile, but thought it was far back enough in the past that it was no longer visible, then now is the time to panic.
Everything you’ve ever posted to Facebook is about to be diarised in an easy to access format, with all posts defaulting to ‘Public’, ie the world and his wife can see them, unless you choose them not to be as and when you post. Not only that, but unless you limit your audience by selecting the ‘Limit the Audience for Past Posts’ option when Timeline loads, it may be that far more may be seen by all then you ever intended.
My advice is to go on to Timeline now. Learn about it. Download it to your Facebook profile so you have time to a) get to know it and b) take any action you need to. Don’t wait until Facebook Timeline invades your profile page – be prepared for this one.
Here are the 6 things you need to do.
1. Read this great article by PC World on the basics of what you need to know about Facebook Timeline. Here you can find out about limiting past post visibility to strangers and what they will be able to view when they arrive at your profile.
2. Go to this page on Facebook and click on the Get Timeline button
3. Take the Tour – don’t immediately publish - to find your way around. When it says ‘Rediscover your Top Stories’ it isn’t joking…………..
4. Your Privacy: Go right back and see what’s showing on your Facebook Timeline, when you find something you don’t want everyone to be able to see, in the right hand corner of each post you’ll see a small pencil, here’s where you can hide or delete items from Timeline, one post at a time.
If you want to limit past post visibility totally and keep your privacy then go to the Privacy Settings from the little drop down arrow in the top right hand corner of your Facebook profile. Control your default privacy settings (from Public to Friends, for example).
Then go down to ‘Limit the Audience for Past Posts’. Click on ‘Limit Past Posts’. Note that this cannot be undone by default, you will have to ‘unlimit’ manually any posts you are happy to be seen by the world.
5. Your cover photo – can be anything you like (relatively speaking), and up to 850 x 315 px wide. This is a very good post to read by Mari Smith about your cover image. I have created a collage of family pictures but many have a single image.
6. Check that you’re happy with what the world can see by clicking on the ‘View As’ option (next to the Activity Log button). If there’s anything you want removed, now’s the time to do it. If you’re ready, click on Get Timeline, and your new page will be live.
This is very much a new phase for Facebook, intuitive, intrusive, and aimed at those who want to share their complete life experiences with the world, or so Facebook assumes. If you’re anything like me, you don’t. Be ready for it then you’re in control. As you should be. After all, it’s all about you.
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And contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org