Now that Facebook has started rolling out the profile modification to Timeline on a non-optional basis, your Facebook history essentially now extends back to your time of birth – rather than the date you joined Facebook..  But remember it’s YOUR life, and it’s up to you to present it in the way that you want – hide anything embarrassing that was previously way below the fold, decide which are the important events in your life to highlight by featuring, and remove anything that might compromise or over-share.  That is your decision alone, exactly where to draw that line.

Here are some tips and tricks to get you started customising your Facebook Timeline

  • Choose a ‘cover picture’ for the top of your page – think about the wide aspect orientation, and also the fact that this cannot be set to friends-only privacy, it’s always there.
  • ‘Feature’ other pictures that you like on your Timeline, by clicking the little star button – this will spread them full width across the page.
  • Add some life events to your Timeline – think about things that are important to you to share, but be aware of the privacy of others (before you out them as your first kiss, or first born!)  And think about the degree of personal info you are sharing – of course your dog’s name is scarcely classified information, because you would *never* use that as a password, would you?  Add events by simply clicking in the right place on the Timeline itself.
  • See the ‘boxes’ just under your Cover photo?  You can rearrange and edit these, by clicking the little drop-down arrow at the end of the row.  It’s up to you, how you present what you feel is important about you  – friends, photos, travels, likes etc.
  • Think about your privacy settings FOR EACH POST.  Most of the time you will probably be very happy to leave it as Friends, but occasionally you might want a post to be public and shareable – such as an appeal for your missing pet that you want circulated as widely as possible in the local area.  And at other times you might want to share with fewer people, so you can create lists in your friends and share only with them using ‘custom’ settings.
  • Embarrassing photo, or risqué but hilarious status from waay back, that everyone has hopefully forgotten about?  Click the edit pencil in the top right corner, and either delete it, or (if you really can’t bear to part with it forever, simply ‘hide from Timeline’)
  • Used to share a lot more publically than you want to do now, but have years of posts to housekeep before sharing your Timeline? Click Privacy Settings in the top right corner of Facebook, then click “Manage Past Post Visibility” – use the options here to set all your old stuff to ‘friends only’
  • See how you’ve done on locking stuff down, but clicking ‘view as’ and then ‘public’ on your activity log – right under your cover photo.  If you have got busy then the only thing showing should be your cover photo, profile pic, and the publically-shared post about your missing pet (optional!)
  • Watch out for all the new click-streaming apps.  I am not sure why I’d need or want to broadcast what articles I’m reading, music I’m listening to, every journey I take… there’s sharing, and there’s over-sharing, IMHO.
  • Not you that’s over-sharing?  Manage what you see, from your over-prolific friends, by clicking the ‘subscribed’ button on THEIR Timeline – you don’t have to unfriend someone just because they are clogging your feed with details of every breath they take.

Share →