Facebook starts rolling out the new Timeline profile

Facebook has started rolling out the new Timeline profile, starting with New Zealand. Unfortunately, the social networking giant still hasn't offered a launch date for the rest of the world.
Written by Emil Protalinski, Contributor on

Facebook has started to roll out its new Timeline feature, which was unveiled three months ago at the company's 2011 f8 developer conference. The company Facebook has started making Timeline available in New Zealand, with the goals of gathering further feedback and to measure the new feature's speed and other types of performance.

So, why New Zealand? "As a global company, we need to gain perspective and insights from outside the US," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "New Zealand is a good place to start because it's English speaking, so we can read the feedback and make improvements quickly."

Timeline was supposed to launch within weeks of f8 but Facebook made a point not to rush anything. The company isn't sharing when it will push Timeline to its 800 million monthly active users; it is simply saying it will roll out more broadly "in the near future." In short, a launch date still hasn't been given and likely never will be.

Until now, only developers building apps on the Facebook Platform have had access to Timeline (and anyone else who exploited this method). Since September, over 1 million people have signed up for the developer beta to access Timeline. It's not known how many of those said they were developers just to get Timeline on their account.

Facebook calls Timeline "the evolution of your profile." While the current Facebook profile is completely based on showing all the latest updates, Timeline is meant to highlight all the important updates of your life. Currently, the only way to find these updates is to click on the Older Posts link at the bottom of someone's profile. Timeline is supposed to change that by letting you pick what's important.

Timeline is wider than your old profile. It's also a lot more visual: not only does it have a giant cover photo at the top, but also lets you star your favorite photos to double their size. At the same time, you can hide things altogether to make other stories stand out more. The most interesting part is that you can add stories for a specific time period in the past, to fill in the blanks.

The change to Timeline also means Facebook will finally let you check out your private Activity Log, which shows you everything you shared since you joined Facebook. You can click on any post to feature it on your Timeline so your friends can see it too.

When you get access to Timeline, you're able to choose to publish it immediately or take a few days to review what's there and add anything that's missing. Whether you're in New Zealand or elsewhere, I'll keep you updated on when you can start using the new profile. In the meantime, check out the Screenshots: the Facebook Timeline and the Open Graph to see what you'll be getting as soon as it's deemed ready.

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