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January 26, 2012

What Is Facebook Timeline and How Can I Clean Up My Profile in 7 Days?

By Rachel Ramsey, TMCnet Contributor

You have one week to sort through all of your Facebook (News - Alert) activity since you joined. Ready? Go.

Regardless of whether users have been delaying converting their Facebook profiles over to the new Timeline (News - Alert) layout or not, now they have no choice. Facebook has given an ultimatum: users have seven days to clean up their profiles before all are required to switch to the new format.

Timeline performs the task of showing all users’ Facebook activities since they first joined the social network. For me, that means users get to see what I was doing when I was a sophomore in high school. It doesn’t stop there, though. Users have the option to add in “life events” from the moment they were born.

So, how do you hide or sort through what you once thought you would likely never see again? Here are some tips for this generation’s version of spring-cleaning.

The first thing to note that is that Timeline won’t expose anything that wasn’t available for sharing in the past. If you had your privacy settings set so nobody could see tagged pictures of you, tagged pictures from three years ago won’t show up all of a sudden. Timeline just allowed people to jump to a user’s older posts more quickly and easily.

Privacy settings are one of the first things to look at when editing your profile information. You can set privacy settings on individual items to control who has access to them.

For major life events, you can choose to star an item to feature them more prominently or hide them. The Activity Log allows you to see all of your posts at a glance and make changes to them one by one.

The advice is to start at the bottom of your page. Take a few minutes to scroll down as far as possible, and work from there. Chances are you had no idea how big Facebook would get or who would eventually end up looking at those early posts when you first joined.

One of the most noticeable changes in the graphics layout is the cover photo. Now, users can have a profile picture that shows their face and a horizontal picture of their favorite scenery shot, hobby, or anything else.

The new Timeline integration provides users with an easy means to post their personal fitness accomplishments, favorite routes, workouts and nutrition with the new MapMyFITNESS app for Facebook Timeline, promoting social accountability.

For the users who are embracing Timeline as a means of virtually scrapbooking their lives, there are features for you. You can retroactively organize your posts and photos by using a location feature that Facebook hadn’t offered until recently. You can also add life events and tell the social network who you were with, what happened, where you were, and add a photo to go with it.

Happy reminiscing!

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO East 2012, taking place Jan. 31-Feb. 3 2012, in Miami, FL. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO registration, click here.

Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO. Follow us on Twitter.

Rachel Ramsey is a TMCnet editorial assistant, contributing news items and feature articles on a variety of communications and technology topics. Rachel has previously worked in PR and communications at The Wriglesworth Consultancy, an award-winning London PR firm. She has also contributed to the creative services department at CBS 3 and The CW Philly in Philadelphia. To read more of Rachel's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell
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