Facebook Timeline: "This is Your Life" Digital Scrapbook
During the keynote speech of the annual f8 conference for Facebook developers, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced Timeline, a new feature to the social network. Timeline will be your own personal history in which to merge your digital self with your real-life self. Many current users of Facebook currently use albums to share photos with friends. Timeline is an extension of that premise that allows users, as Zuckerberg states it, a "new way to express who you are" in a digital scrapbook. This Timeline profile is arranged in reverse chronological order so that the most recent events are displayed first and can extend as far back as before you first logged on to Facebook.
In this new Facebook experience, users will be able to share with friends on two different levels; the Ticker and the Timeline. With Ticker, friends will still be able to post status updates in real-time, that's the Facebook with which we are familiar. The Twitter-type updates about who is commenting on what and what games everyone is playing will now be in the right side-bar of your homepage layout. Users will also be able to choose how this is broadcast, no doubt a reaction to the Circles of Google+. In greater reflection of each user and their life stories, users will also have the Timeline on their individual profiles. Here, users can choose the events and milestones to highlight throughout your life. This space will be more like a personal blog rather than a place that is a compiled list of status updates.
If you have entered information such as graduation dates, your wedding date and when you started a new job, all of this data will begin to fill in the Timeline. This is information you may have already filled in and chosen to display within the info section of your current profile. You will also be able to add photos with captions for milestones on your Timeline, to extend it before you even opened your Facebook account. You can choose to highlight important milestones or just memorable events that you would have already posted on Facebook. Although you choose the information that is shared on your Timeline, there are some concerns about privacy settings and who will see all of this gathered information. We will also soon be startled by how much information already exists and is stored on Facebook, such as years of status updates.
Currently, users are on Facebook to hang-out. Users can share individual photos or whole albums, links to video or websites, "like" pages, or share thoughts and observations. Many users enjoy playing games and sharing scores with friends via apps. With Timeline, a digital scrapbook allows you to add to your albums and timeline as you experience events in your life. Your Timeline can become a place for you to keep a digital scrapbook and share it with your friends and family. Usage may evolve so that users will make Facebook the go-to place to keep photos of events of your life. Users will be able to share wedding photo albums and newborn baby photos, or anything else that they choose to.
Facebook's Timeline is a natural evolution in how we present our digital selves to each other.
Yet it allows us to present information about ourselves as we want it presented. Ultimately, Facebook is a tool that allows us to better communicate with each other, solidifying Facebook's place in social networking for a little bit longer.