Your Facebook Timeline is changing. Do Not Panic.
Facebook made it official. Your Facebook Timeline is changing. Right on the heels of their announcement of major changes to our News Feeds, the changes they've been testing in New Zealand are also now rolling out to Facebook users worldwide.
While your News Feed is where you see all the status updates from friends and Pages you follow, your Timeline is your personal profile page, displaying your own recent posts, things that you like, and information about you. This is where your friends and family go to see what you're up to.
Continuing Facebook's desire to help us communicate stories and moments, the new Timeline is designed to help display the things that interest us the most. Sections for Movies, TV Shows, Music and Books have all been redesigned and repositioned.
The new Interest boxes allow you to indicate not just the movies and music you like, but what you're interested in watching or reading. When you see something on a friend's profile that you're interested in reading or listening to, you can add that to your own profile just by clicking a + button and adding it to the appropriate category, like "Watched" or "Want to Watch."
Third-party apps like Instagram or Pinterest will continue to appear on your profile page and will have their own similar boxes.
The biggest news is the change in timeline layout. According to Facebook, "We heard from you that the current timeline layout is sometimes hard to read. Starting today, all posts are on the right side of your timeline, with photos, music and other recent activity on the left." This is what the new layout looks like:
The screenshot above, from Facebook not only demonstrates the new timeline, it also is using the new Graph Search header that Facebook announced in Janurary. According to their press conference about the new News Feed, one of the concerns that users have expressed was that navigation was not consistent throughout Facebook. If you go to a Facebook Page or your Events, you have to go back to your Facebook home to get to anything else. The screenshot above suggests that they still haven't addressed that if you're looking at your own profile. There's no clear way to get to pages, messages events or other sections of Facebook.
Otherwise, it does appear to be a very clean and attractive design. The single column timeline of posts will make sure that posts are displayed consistently between News Feed and Timeline, meaning all images will be the same large size, in the same order. It also means that you can quickly get to someone's stories if that's what you're interested in, ignoring the sections to the left. Or vice versa. With the "old" timeline, there was less distinction between recent posts and the interest boxes on the right.
There has been no official word regarding the effect this will have on Business Pages. Facebook Pages don't have the same interest boxes, but Pages do display recommendations and likes and check-ins, so the same style of layout would conceivably work.
What do you think so far? Are you excited for the new change?
Facebook sign image from Yahoo! News.
By Mike Allton, Content Marketing Practitioner
Mike is a Content Marketing Practitioner, Blogger and Author in St. Louis, and the Chief Marketing Officer at SiteSell. He has been working with websites and the Internet since the early '90's, and is active on all of the major social networks. Mike teaches a holistic approach to content marketing that leverages blog content, social media and SEO to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert those leads into sales.
Mike is the author of, "The Unofficial Book On HootSuite: The #1 Tool for Social Media Management", "The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile.", and "Blog Promotionology, The Art & Science of Blog Promotion."