Facebook’s new timeline release turns your sorry ol’ profile into a journey of your life, or your life since Facebook. Compiling the most important moments of your life and showcasing these as ‘life events’ for people to get a more accurate view of who you are on Facebook – for better or worse.
Before you start regretting all of those midnight posts from 2009, here are some tricks on sculpting your digital persona with Facebook timeline.
First, you need to understand how Facebook now presents you on the network. All of your posts to date on Facebook have been arranged chronologically, with the most recent at top with previous months, years and events being noted on your timeline navigation. Each year is broken down into months so you can get pretty granular in your Facebook legacy.
So, people can go back and see what you were up to in 2009 or see pictures of your latest family addition by simply clicking on the event in your timeline. For better or for worse…
Cleaning up your past
When your profile converted to timeline, your posts were automatically made more browse-able. Before, your old posts were buried on the wall. Now, they are easily accessed by browsing the timeline. You have two options here, you can go through your updates and hide certain updates on your timeline buy selecting the pencil on the right side of your update and selecting ‘Hide from Timeline’.
This can be tedious, though. You can change the privacy of all those posts to “Friends Only” with one click. Click the arrow next to the “Home” button in the upper right hand corner of Facebook. Head to Privacy Settings, then scroll down to “Limit the Audience for Past Posts”. Click “Manage Past Post Visibility” and click the “Limit Old Posts” button. This will make all your past posts visible to Friends Only.
Managing Your Activity Log
If you want to be more selective on your more recent posts, or perhaps you forgot to manage your per post settings and want to make a li’l correction, you can review your activity using the Activity Log. This is an area that only you can see, so you can review everything you’ve done most recently and make changes as necessary.
You can also add things to your timeline by adding a star to the post in this view, or removing the star as you see fit.
Security on Each Post
Going forward, you can manage the security on each post by selecting the security option on the right hand side of each update before publishing your update. This is good practice if you have subscribers on your profile, or if you have some ‘funny’ photos that you have to share with your girlfriends but don’t want to share with the world (good idea not to, promise).
Adding Key Events
Filling out timeline to cover your key events is the fun part, and this new feature allows you to backlog your coolest, most interesting life events. Timeline breaks these down into work and education, family and relationships (you can even add a new pet), home and living, home and wellness or travel and experiences. Adding pictures, descriptions, locations and most importantly, dates will fill out your timeline to include key events in your life. Don’t forget to set your security for each one!