The people behind the scenes at Facebook never sit still, as it seems as if the social network is constantly rolling out new changes to its design and features. The Timeline format is a major design change that was introduced last year. Facebook believes Timeline is the best way to showcase your life for others to see, and its entire look is completely different from Facebook’s original style.
Timeline is slowly being rolled out to select users, so you have probably stumbled upon it by now. It can seem odd to navigate at first, and the same holds true for adjusting to the change if your own profile is selected for the Timeline switch. To help you get acquainted with the new format, this article will list several tips and tricks that you can put to use once you become a member of the Facebook Timeline club.
Making the Switch
The first thing you are probably wondering is how to switch over to Timeline. Unless Facebook selected you automatically, you are still sitting with the old format. You can take the initiative to switch yourself by going to the Introducing Timeline page which can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/about/timeline. The page gives you an overview of the Timeline layout and breaks it down into three parts: the cover, stories, and apps.
Once finish with the overview and are comfortable, you can switch over to the Timeline format by clicking on the green Get Timeline button. Facebook will put you on the Timeline for a 7-day preview. During this time, only you will see your profile in the new format, which gives you some time to hide certain things or add others. If you decide you are ready for everyone else to see your Timeline, you can click Publish Now to make it official.
Now that the conversion is finished, let’s move on to the Timeline tips….
Change your Cover Photo
The cover photo is a large header for your Timeline page. If you want to change it, simply hover your cursor over the photo, click Change Cover, and choose the photo you want.
Make a Post Stand Out
Featuring a specific post is a great way to give it extra exposure. What it basically does is takes a post and doubles its width so it stretches completely across the page. You can do this if you use your profile for networking purposes, or you can do it if you just want to emphasize a certain update. It works with pictures that appear in the Timeline as well. Timeline’s format offers a different look, so you no longer have to rely on a uniform appearance of all status updates.
To feature a post, hover over the top right-hand corner of the post until you see two small icons. Click on the star icon and the post will be featured. You can reverse the process by repeating it, which will minimize the post to a normal size.
Showcase Special Life Events
Facebook instituted Timeline to enable users to showcase their lives, and a great way to do this is by adding certain life events to your profile. It helps in creating a nice chronology of your life that you can look back on and falls in line with the whole “timeline” theme.
You can add life events in the following categories: work and education, family and relationships, home and living, health and wellness, and travel and experiences. Click on Life Event at the top left-hand of your page. You will see the different categories. Select the one you want, fill in the relevant info, tweak the privacy for the event according to your liking, and click Save. Your event will now be placed in the Timeline at the appropriate date you specify.
Add Posts Where You Want Them
Timeline is highly flexible, which is one of its most appealing characteristics. Since you are putting your life on display, you may want to add in some missing holes to your Timeline. Place your cursor over the blue line that separates your entire Timeline page down the middle. When you see your cursor turn into a + sign, you can add a post. Facebook lets you post a status, photo, place, or life event, which makes it easy to fill in any important items you may have missed in the past.
Hide Pesky Advertisements
With your brand new format in place, the last thing you want to see cluttering it up is an advertisement of something you will never like or purchase. Facebook has to make money, however, so ads are part of the game. Luckily, you can hide ads rather easily.
When you see an ad on the right side of your Timeline, hover over it with your cursor until you see a little X. Click the X and you will see options to hide the ad or hid all ads from that specific sponsor. Once you make your selection, Facebook will ask you why you didn’t like the ad. After you give your answer, you can take things one step further by telling Facebook what type of ads you like so you will receive ones that better fit your needs.
Eliminate the Sidebar
The sidebar that runs the length of the right-hand side of your page shows your friends and who is available to chat. This may be useful for some, but for others it can really produce a cluttered look, especially in Timeline mode. You can eliminate the clutter by clicking on the small icon at the bottom right-hand corner of the page that will display Hide sidebar once you hover over it with your cursor. To get it back, click in the same area on the minimized chat box.
Look at Your Timeline from an Outsider’s Point of View
With so many friends and so many privacy preferences, you may forget the permissions you have given to certain subscribers. This is easy to check, however, by clicking the small cog icon that sits near the top right hand corner of your Timeline page. Select the View As option, and you will be asked to enter a friend’s name. After you enter their name, you will see just how your Timeline appears to them. From there, you can make any necessary setting adjustments if you want extra privacy.
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