Facebook Timeline: a worthy overhaul, good for privacy

by peter.griffin / 08 December, 2011
Timeline lets you easily purge the digital detritus of your life - or fill in black spots in your history.
Facebook is tweaked and reworked seemingly every few months, so a new update isn't necessarily newsworthy.

However, the new Timeline feature - and the fact that it has been rolled out in New Zealand ahead of the rest of the world, is significant. Timeline signals the most visual overhaul of the Facebook interface so far and seems to be a response to the more visual app-driven interfaces people are increasingly used to.



Timeline lets you install a widescreen photo banner at the top of your Facebook profile and lays out your updates, photos and personal information in a series of boxes. The Timeline name refers to the fact that an entire archive of everything you have posted to Facebook is available for viewing by scrolling along a digital timeline.

Facebook is very much about the fleeting present, the fad of the day, the here and the now. But we forget how much information we are leaving in our trail.

Timeline then is a welcome reminder to browse back over our digital breadcrumbs to see if there's anything compromising or embarrassing that should be purged from public view.

You can edit your timeline, making old posts private before publishing the version you are happy with. In that sense, its one of the more proactive things Facebook has done on the privacy front in a while. You can also add tidbits of info and photos to your historical record. It has shades of 1984 and Winston Smith, the doomed public servant who spent his days erasing the awkward past or inventing new historic events for the party's convenience. But, hey what's the harm in presenting the public face you want others to see?

In general, Timeline lends itself to a more visual, photo-driven presentation of Facebook. It will take a bit of getting used to but will eventually become mandatory for all users so points to the future shape of the world's most popular social network.

App developers will be getting in on the TImeline act, so expect to see some useful add-ons in the coming months.
MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

The rate of technological change is now exceeding our ability to adapt
71303 2017-04-24 00:00:00Z Technology

The rate of technological change is now exceeding …

by Peter Griffin

A decade on from the revolution of 2007, the pace and rate of change are exceeding our capacity to adapt to new technologies.

Read more
Government tests electric limo for Crown fleet
71520 2017-04-24 00:00:00Z Technology

Government tests electric limo for Crown fleet

by Benedict Collins

An electric-hybrid limousine is being put through its paces to see whether it's up to the job of transporting politicians and VIPs around the country.

Read more
What growing antibiotic resistance means for livestock and the environment
71360 2017-04-23 00:00:00Z Social issues

What growing antibiotic resistance means for lives…

by Sally Blundell

Animals kept in close proximity, like battery chickens, are at risk of infectious disease outbreaks that require antibiotic use.

Read more
The little-known story of Ernest Rutherford's secret anti-submarine work in WWI
71418 2017-04-23 00:00:00Z History

The little-known story of Ernest Rutherford's secr…

by Frank Duffield

Famous for his work splitting the atom, Ernest Rutherford also distinguished himself in secret anti-submarine research that helped the Allies win WWI.

Read more
Book review: Larchfield by Polly Clark
71160 2017-04-23 00:00:00Z Books

Book review: Larchfield by Polly Clark

by Nicholas Reid

Poet WH Auden stars in time-hurdling novel – as a life coach to a lonely mum.

Read more
A Way with Words: Fiona Farrell
71329 2017-04-23 00:00:00Z Books

A Way with Words: Fiona Farrell

by Fiona Farrell

Do I have a routine? Yes indeed. Otherwise I’d never get anything done. I am very distractible. Suggest coffee and I’ll be there.

Read more
The blue zone: Kiwi workers' wage gap trap
71457 2017-04-23 00:00:00Z Economy

The blue zone: Kiwi workers' wage gap trap

by Virginia Larson

For blue-collar workers, the gap between the haves and the have-littles is widening.

Read more
Suitably predictable: Why we're attracted to a uniform
71366 2017-04-23 00:00:00Z Psychology

Suitably predictable: Why we're attracted to a uni…

by Marc Wilson

Why firefighters get the girl more often than the average bloke does.

Read more