Facebook announces “Timeline” – new profile design even if you don’t like it

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Facebook has announced its brand new profile redesign, and it isn’t that bad. Dubbed “Timeline“, the new profile design aims to merge applications, photos, life events, status updates and your activities in a much better visual display.

As a “Facebook Developer” (I use that term loosely because I got access to it because of the Facebook integration on the posts beforehand), I have early access to the design. Facebook, however, will be rolling this out to users in the coming weeks, and you can express interest in getting it early at their site. And get ready for some backlash.

One of the big differences is that your posts are aligned differently and match to a point in a single line. This is why it is called Timeline, it essentially just makes it easier to read your old posts. And, since I’ve been on Facebook since 2007, it has been weird seeing all my old content because, lets face it, it is kind of scary that Facebook has collected all this data on you for those years.

And for those who don’t want to, um, go through five years of stuff, Facebook has provided you with a quick year summary of all the things you want to know. Again, kind of scary about all the data Facebook has of you.

Another change is the “Cover Photo”. It essentially just a big photo that supposed to represent you. It can be a holiday snapshot, family photo or a image of scenery. Those who also want to know, you’re not going to get the five photos on the top any more, so those who spent hours playing around with services to do that and have a message splashed across the five slots will be disappointed. But then again, it was a pretty much useless and crappy feature.

In addition, you’ll also notice the message box has changed and several new things. Because it’s a timeline, it now has one-click options for life events, such as marriage, health and wellbeing, education or even just travelling to different locations.

I feel that the design purposely wants you to fill in the blanks, and there is nothing wrong with that – unless you are a privacy-conscious person. The fact that it asks you to add photos from your education history, employment and birth highlights Facebook’s new approach – to be a digital storage of your life. It kind of make sense logically as many users aren’t techheads and just want simplicity, and I think this will provide it.

Practically, people don’t like change. Well, Facebook users don’t like change. But you don’t need to fear anything.

Also announced at f8, Facebook’s developers conference, is a new API for applications to take advantage of the new Timeline design. If you are developer, you can gain early access to the new design to test it out before publishing it.

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