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Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Facebook prepares users for ‘Timeline’ takeover

By now, many of Facebook’s users have grown accustomed to frequent changes and overhauls of its design and features. However, with the site’s newest incarnation on the horizon, some may find it more difficult to adjust.

Last month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced plans for “Timeline,” a new profile layout designed to be easier to navigate. Resembling a digital scrapbook, the feature presents each Facebook user’s information in a reverse-chronological format, with each post or event on one’s profile stemming from a timeline in the center of the page. The new format, rolling out over the next few weeks, was designed to make it easier to see everything one has posted on Facebook: essentially a digital record of a person’s life, depending on how much information he or she has posted.

As always, new concerns about Internet privacy come along with the new format. However, the new design may not be as unfamiliar as it seems.

“I think it looks like it’s completely different, and when I first saw it, I was like, ‘Whoa, people are gonna freak out about this,’ but once you get used to it, it’s even more user-friendly,” said sophomore Anne Gaskins, who is already using Timeline on her profile.

Though it may have an easy-to-use layout, Timeline still provides a good reminder of what to post and what not to post on the Internet.

“I think it’s making people more aware of the risks of sharing too much,” said Whitman IT Security Officer Mike Osterman. Recommending pages like Sophos, which posts tips on Facebook privacy, Osterman added that students should “take this as an opportunity to get more familiar with what your privacy settings are.”

“‘If people who will be important in my future see this, will it be embarrassing?’ I think that’s the key question,” said Assistant Vice President of Communications Ruth Wardwell.

For better or worse, Timeline is coming: after an initial opt-in period, all user profiles will be converted to the new format. In the meantime, users can start considering how these changes will impact their sharing habits.

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  • M

    Mike OOct 13, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    The Sophos Facebook page, which includes posts about Facebook privacy changes and scams, is located here:


  • N

    NikkiOct 13, 2011 at 9:38 am

    will businesses be able to use the Timeline feature?