Facebook Timeline goes live: Gives users seven-day grace

Facebook is to roll out its new Timeline profile next week. But during the busy run-up to Christmas, users have only seven-days to get their profile pages in order.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

Facebook announced this morning the long-awaited arrival of the new Timeline profile page.

The Timeline is live for those who wish to opt-in today, it will give users of the world's largest social network one week from when they activate the new profile before the Timeline kicks into gear*.

After debuting at the f8 conference in September, the feature was made available to developers to test it out for themselves.

The Timeline will replace users' profile pages, which will include a documented 'timeline' effect ranging back to the day they first started on Facebook, with the option to document life events along the way.

But the grace period of one week may not be enough time for users in the run-up to the busy Christmas holiday.

(Source: ZDNet)

Over a million people signed up to the developer preview of Timeline since it was announced in September, Facebook said in a blog post.

My own efforts to 'comply' with the new Timeline feature led me through a total of four days of almost continuous delete-button clicking to get my profile in check.

Four days is a long time for the sake of de-cluttering the entire history of my social networking history, in order to prevent embarrassment or other's stalking my past outbursts of teenage angst and sweary messages.

By using cleverly designed macros and screen-recording utilities, it alleviated most of the pressure off my continued clicking of the 'remove' button. But many users will not have this technical skill, and will feel forced into deleting each post one-by-one, or disabling their profile altogether.

Earlier this month, Facebook began its wider non-developer rollout to New Zealand. Facebook explained that it wanted to try the feature out in a native English-speaking country, which would allow the site to receive timely feedback to make "improvements quickly".

Though many will be wrapping up work for the year, time is limited for the vast majority during the busy Christmas period. Many will not be able to get their Timeline before the grace period is over.

The social network did not have an easy time in getting the feature out there, battling a lawsuit along the way, that threatened to throw Facebook off the launch altogether.

Timelines.com filed a lawsuit in October claiming that Facebook's new profile would "eliminate" the Chicago-based company. While the company was not against the social network launching the service, it had issue with the infringement of its trademarked name.

On the bright side, a least Facebook is giving users the grace period; something it has not done before. Facebook users normally lead a revolt for the first few days after a major site redesign, after which the dust settles and many simply get used to it.

Users can get the Timeline profile page now, by going to Facebook and clicking "Get it Now". It will be rolled out to all users automatically at a later date.

* Updated for clarification.


Editorial standards