Ready or not, here it comes: on December 22, Facebook will replace your current "Wall" with a "Timeline". Everyone in the US will have the all-new user interface that features Timeline, a completely new way to present who you are, what you are (and what you said 3 years ago) on Facebook. Think of it as a digital, animated, archived scrapbook of your entire life (or at least what you’ve chosen to share on Facebook).
If you are like millions of users who still don’t know what Timeline is, or have an idea, but are still not sure, don’t fret, you are not alone. Before you read any further however, I suggest you watch the video:
As of today, only 84 of my 1285 friends have signed up for Timeline. Come 12/22 everyone will have it, like it or not. Although Facebook introduced Timeline back in September, it has, in an uncharacteristically noble display of consideration to its users, seems to have delayed its full rollout until all the kinks have been worked out. I think it’s borne out of being repeatedly accused of forcing new features down our throats and getting even more changes thrown in before we’re done chewing the first batch. Subsequently, users have left Facebook in droves, or at least temporarily deactivated their profiles.
USA today recently ran an article listing the 9 things you need to know about Facebook Timeline:
Here are a few important bullets:
• Upgrade now (early) so that you can have seven (7) days to preview what your profile will look like with Timeline before going live.
• Customize your cover photo (I’ll explain how to do it shortly)
• Timeline brings back ALL of your old posts. Yes ALL of them. Again, this is another reason to early-adopt, so that you can delete or hide posts which no longer seem funny or appropriate
• Privacy settings are kept in tact. I think there are even more privacy settings (thanks to Google+) you can now have more control over who sees what
• iPhone/iPad users: visit the App store and upgrade to FB v4.1 to activate Timeline on your devices
How to create a custom cover photo:
Before you get started, think about this carefully: If you could create a billboard for yourself, what would it be?
Facebook isn’t rolling out Timeline for its business pages anytime soon, so if you are a business owner (like myself), an entrepreneur, or are self-employed, you may want to do something of an ad for yourself in this space.
Most people may choose a simple photo, a group shot, or a texture or pattern, but my point is that this is PRIME REAL ESTATE people, so do something COOL with it!
1. You’ll need photo-editing software such as Adobe Photoshop
2. Create a new image (File/New)
3. Set resolution to 72dpi & color to RGB
4. Set image size to 1692 pixels x 648 pixels (23.5” x 9”)
5. Drag photos, edit type, create backgrounds here, go nuts – this is your new billboard
6. Keep in mind: your profile photo will fit in the exact spot that its in now
7. Your photo will start at the 6.25” mark from the top on the left side, so try not to put any words or logos that may get covered up by your photo
8. One photo of you is enough. We don’t need a profile photo of you looking up at the large billboard of you (again) unless this is your thing, then by all means...
9. Facebook is approaching 1 billion users. What do you want them to see?
10. List other social media links, samples of your work, product or contact information
11. Once you are done creating your ‘billboard’, flatten and save as a JPG
12. Hover over the lower right of the Timeline cover photo area and click on “Change Cover”
13. Select “upload image” and upload your new JPG
14. It should fit perfectly, and if it doesn’t, you can simply repeat the process
Here are some samples of Custom Timeline Cover Photos:
For the more advanced image editors (to get a more precise design):
Take a snapshot (or screenshot) of your new Timeline page so that you can design around your profile photo.
Rebuild your custom cover photo at the proper resolution and dimensions once you have a rough layout that will work with your photo
Most importantly – have FUN with it!
Here are some websites that can create a Custom Timeline cover for you:
Still not sure how to go about using Timeline or even what it is? (don't panic)
More About Timeline (originally posted on Facebook’s Timeline page)
Preview your timeline
Once you get timeline, you'll have 7 days before anyone else can see it. This gives you a chance to get your timeline looking the way you want before other people see it.
Decide what to highlight
To help you get started, your timeline includes some of your top photos and stories. Hide or highlight whatever you want and add anything that's missing.
Control who sees your stuff
Only the people you originally shared a post with can see it on your timeline. If you want, you can go back and change who sees a post, delete it or just hide it from your timeline.
Still not sure? Go here (maybe you should have gone here first!)
Need help designing your custom Facebook Timeline cover? Let us handle it for you.
Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is Facebook Timeline? (Only Your Whole Life)