By Chantelle Ellem
Here are five reasons you'll love the new Facebook, which rolls out in October 2011. I admit I'm a social media geek - it's my job - but there are about to be changes to Facebook and the way we use those pages that keep us connected to friends and family -- my bet is that you're going to like them.
Facebook change #1: Time for the timeline
No, don't stress. It's not some odd history lesson about to bore you to tears. Have you ever stalked a friend on Facebook and tried to piece together what job they're doing, when they hooked up with their partner and what they've done over the past five years? No? That's only me then.
Facebook is bringing out the timeline so that you can piece together your whole life on Facebook. Before the timeline, everything you've ever done on Facebook disappears down your page, never to be seen again. Now you can click back over the years and see what you were doing, what you said, when you signed up to Facebook and even what you were eating at any given time.
You can even go BF (Before Facebook) and add photos into your timeline of when you were born.
Facebook change #2: Bring out the verbs - there's more to like
You've spent that last year clicking 'like' on stuff, but now you'll be able to add a few verbs to the list. You'll be able to have read, watched, listened, hiked and more through Facebook. I think this is a good move because sometimes 'liking' things doesn't seem appropriate. (For example, who wants to "like" a horrible news story about a house fire that's killed someone?)
Facebook change #3: You'll know what your friends do in real time
You may have already noticed a real-time ticker on your Facebook homepage - it's up in the top right-hand corner - that shows what your friends and pages are doing at the present moment. Soon, you'll be able to interact a little more with those ticker updates.
I love learning new music favourites through friends and even movie recommendations. Imagine seeing that your friend is cooking something with chocolate and being inspired to do the same. Or perhaps you can see that you friend ran a course down the beach and tracked it with something like Nike+. You can run the same track yourself another day.
What's more, you will see your friends' photos look bigger and better than ever. You will also have new opportunities to message and even call your friends through Facebook with faster and better tools.
Facebook change #4: The new look of your page
This reminds me ever-so-slightly of MySpace but I'm sure it will grow on me. When people visit other people's Facebook pages they get to know a little more about them in the first few seconds. Usually this is through their job description, the school they went to or who they're married to.
Now you'll be able to get a feel for someone by their cover photo (I've put clouds in mine). You'll still have your profile picture that will be seen when you post around Facebook, but the coverphoto will give your page your own 'feel'. I secretly think Mark Zuckerberg is going a bit soft on us, but shhh.
Facebook change #5: Hiding what you don't want others to see
You will be able to hide any not-so-lovely posts on your timeline, according to Mashable, by:
- Hovering your cursor over the top-right of the post where it says “edit or remove.”
- Then click “hide from timeline.” Note that when you refresh, it won’t appear on your public timeline but you can still see a private log of all of your timeline activity over the years by clicking the “View Activity” icon underneath your profile cover, or by accessing http://www.facebook.com/YOURUSERID?sk=allactivity.
- You can also restrict who sees your, ahem, more challenging updates by restricting your future status updates or posts. You will need to do this by editing “custom” settings each time you update, but some of you may consider this hassle worth it.
- You can go to the homepage and click “Lists,” located in the column to the left of the News Feed and hit the “Create a List” icon at the top of the page and name it something like “Limited Profile” or “Parents" or "Boss". Add those people you would like to censor from your full updates to this restricted list.
- Then, every time you share a post or update your status, you can choose to customise its audience. Click “Custom” from the drop-down box and choose to share with friends, but perhaps hide from a certain list — in other words, the Limited Profile list you just created.