In the next few weeks, Facebook will be completely revamped with one of the biggest changes we will see since Facebook first launched. With people expressing hatred to the change that occurred in the past few days, it would be interesting to see the reaction when Facebook introduces the Timeline for Facebook Profiles.
The screenshot above is Mark Zuckerberg’s Timeline. The timeline allows people to view your profile on a particular date. Currently, if you wanted to find out what a friend did back in 2009, you would have to spend hours scrolling through their profile, only to get a message saying, “We can’t show more items”. The Timeline fixes this issue and allow you to see what someone on a particular year or month. With one click, I found out that Zuckerberg met with the presented with a few other people, which this something I probably wouldn’t have found using the old Facebook Profile view (then again, I never really went to his profile).
So what does this mean? – You should be worried!
For those who have posted regrettable things in the past, forgotten about them, and never deleted those posts or comments, you should be worried. It’s now incredibly easy for someone go back on your life and see what you have posted. If you’ve previously split up with your boyfriend/girlfriend, and got a new relationship with someone else, all those previous “I love you” messages can be easily seen by your new partner, which has the potential to end your current relationship with them. This is also no exception to all those drunken status updates you don't remember posting.
It’s pretty scary stuff to see how easy it now is to look back on your life using Facebook, and I am sure many forgotten or regrettable things will now just appear. One the plus side, if you are a Facebook Stalker, this is a great new tool to use.
What can you do about it?
I’ve provided numerous posts about protecting your Facebook profile from your employer, how to securely access your Facebook account, how to delete your Facebook account and start from scratch, and how to protect your personal and online identity which are all great resources you should read and put to action. However, I would strongly recommend anyone who knows that have posted negative things on Facebook is to review your profile and delete those comments.
Every month or so, I delete every comment, and status update I write apart from Happy Birthday messages, so my Timeline doesn’t show up much because I’m very caution of privacy (and in case Facebook did do something like this), but for those who rarely delete things, and who write comments while drunk, you might have something to worry about.
How do I get the new Timeline?
Currently, only Facebook developers have access to try the Timeline. Basically, if you have created a Facebook App, you should be able to get it. If not, you can easily create a Facebook App and try it out before it goes live to everyone. By testing it out now, you can go back on your Facebook profile and delete any unwanted posts before they go publicly available to everyone on September 30th 2011.
Gizmodo has provided a good explanation (with photo’s) on how to get Facebook’s new Timeline. Nevertheless, here are some basic instructions:
- Go to https://developers.facebook.com/ and click Create New App and fill it out
- Click on Open Graph on the left hand side, and fill out the “People Can” with anything like “watch” and “video”
- Go to your Facebook profile, and click on the Timeline message
Are you worried?
Are you now worried about the information the Facebook Timeline will expose on you? Share your thoughts in the comments below or join the discussion on Facebook.