Facebook f8: What is Timeline?

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Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has introduced a major new feature to the world’s biggest social network today in the shape of the Timeline, which is set to replace the regular Profile pages we’ve become accustomed to. Speaking at the company’s annual f8 conference, Facebook is setting its focus not just on your current interests and whims, but also on documenting every aspect of your life.

The new Timeline feature will present all of your actions on the network in a chronological, vertically scrolling timeline, potentially scrolling from the present day back to your birth. It’ll be a digital diary of sorts, initially populated by the status updates, shared items and photos you’ve already placed on the network, but also giving you the ability to add items from before your Facebook sign-up date.

Of course, you’ll be able to pick and choose exactly what you want to be published on the Timeline, and if you want it to be public at all.

Very visual (and taking more than a few cues from popular Tumblr themes) it will also make use of the newly re-vamped Facebook apps system. Timeline posts for instance can include links to the song that you were listening to on a significant day, or a map of a marathon route that you took part in.

Timeline wont be exclusive to PCs either, working on all mobile versions of Facebook too.

“Millions and millions of people have spent years curating the stories of their lives, and today there’s just no good way to share them,” Zuckerberg said.

“We think this is a real problem, and we think that we have the solution.”

So who will benefit most from Timeline? Remarkably, people who do not yet use Facebook.

Or more specifically, your newborn children.

Assuming that Facebook as a website/network/product lasts that long, your children (with your help during their early years, or course) will be able to document their entire lives through the Timeline. From their first day at school through to the day their own first children are born, every photo, song, or event that has punctuated their lives can be documented here.

Scrapbooks around the globe are about to get very, very dusty.

Facebook Timeline opens in beta form today. You can sign up to try it early by clicking here.

Gerald Lynch

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