Facebook has updated the timeline design for 2013. Click here to read about the newest Facebook timeline design.
By now, you’ve probably read your fair share of “What I Hate About the New Facebook Updates” to the point that you’re pretty comfortable with the fact that you hate the changes. So, as a change of pace, here are some gems that have come about from the latest updates that are actually pretty cool from the news feed to the new Facebook Timeline Profile.
The Best Facebook News Feed Setting
By far, of all things they have done to the news feed, I love this!
Hide Updates by Third Party Applications
Don’t want to see what music people are listening to? Tired of people who feed their tweets in as Facebook updates? If you are viewing your newsfeed and see that an update is from an app (this includes HootSuite, Spotify, Tweetdeck, NetworkedBlogs, or anything with an icon), you can click on the dropdown arrow next to the update and select the Hide All by ____. Talk about almost instantly decluttering some of the noise!
As a side note, this is why I love Google+. No updates from other apps or feeding updates from other networks. Almost every update happens within Google+ itself meaning if you comment on something, the person might actually be there to answer you vs. someone who just auto updates to update and not to engage. This is why I’m happy to remove 3rd party updates from my News Feed and just interact with people actually on Facebook. It’s all a matter of personal preference.
If you change your mind and want to see those app updates, scroll to the bottom of your News Feed (all the way down after the feed stops adding new updates) and click on Edit Options. You can see any updates you have hid from the feed, including those from app, games, pages, and people so you can add them back in again.
UPDATE #1 Change Subscription or Friendship
Ever seen an update from someone, think “I really don’t care about your ___” and wish you would never see those types of updates again from that person in your News Feed. Now you can control it, right from the News Feed.
So if you only want to see their photos and status updates, just leave those checked. If you decide you’ve had enough of them altogether, you can unsubscribe completely or just unfriend them immediately!
UPDATE #2 This is only if you hover over the friend’s name. If you hover over the dropdown arrow by the update, you can change your subscription options for the person first, then it confirms the change and asks if you want to unfriend as well. All on the News Feed!
Honorable Mention – The Chrome’s Facebook News Ticker Remover
Ok, this isn’t by Facebook, but you probably will want it. If you’re a Google Chrome user like me and not a fan of the scrolling ticker updates on your News Feed, no problem. Add this extension to your browser and say goodbye to the crazy scroller!
Getting Use Out of the Facebook Friends and Smart Lists
Even though you don’t see them initially, don’t freak out like I did and assume your friend’s lists (now called Custom Lists) have disappeared. Here’s how to find them and really get some good out of them.
Add Custom Lists to Favorites for Easy Access
If you just want to see updates by people you have put into your Custom Lists and the smart lists, you can click on the More link next to Lists, then click on the Friends Lists you want. When you see it popup under Lists, hover over it, click on the pencil, and Add to Favorites.
Now you can have your lists easily accessible for your News Feed.
Choose Update Types for Custom Lists
This really should be available for the News Feed, but for now it seems to only work within lists. When you’re viewing updates within one of your Custom Lists or Smart Lists (those auto created by Facebook based on location, employers, schools, etc.), there is a Manage List dropdown in the top right of the page. Click on this and then click on Choose Update Types. Then click on Manage List again to check different types of updates you want to see by people in this list.
It’s definitely one to play with because of its odd behavoir. For example, I unchecked Games on one of my lists, and the updates of “So and So is now friends with Them and Them plus 3 million other people” vanished from the feed. Good stuff!
A Longed For New Privacy Settings
Facebook must have heard me (and probably thousands of others) as well on this one – even MySpace had this option from the very start!
Review All Tags
If you haven’t checked this out already, you should. Head over to your Privacy Settings, and Edit Settings for How Tags Work. Turn on Profile Review and Tag Review.
To review your tags, visit your main profile page and, under Wall, you will see an option for Needs Review. Click on this to see any posts, photos, and other requests that need your approval.
Now you can say goodbye to those applications that tag you in photos you don’t want to be in and to people who tag you in photos, updates, and other things you don’t want visible on your profile without having to turn off tags altogether.
Once the new Timeline Profile is available to everyone, the review area will follow under Activity.
You’ll see how that falls into place in just a moment. Also, when you do see it, don’t freak out – it’s private. (For now at least.)
Introducing the New Facebook Timeline Profile
And now we come down to the big one. The brand new Facebook profile design featuring the timeline layout. The following is how mine looked when I converted it.
And this is the complete version shown on Facebook’s official timeline page that includes more apps than I usually get into using while on Facebook.
You can learn more about it here and even sign up to be first on board for the changes! Or, if you can’t wait like I couldn’t, you can follow the steps on how to enable the Facebook Timeline Profile now. (Huge thanks to Francisco Rosales for pointing this out to me on Twitter.) If you do this, you’ll get the following message at the top of your profile that says:
Welcome to Your Timeline – Developer Release
Your timeline currently features your top photos and posts. Right now, only you can see what’s here. Take a tour and star, hide or add whatever you want. Then click Publish Now or wait until your timeline goes live on Friday, September 30, 2011.
So your options are to avoid it until the very last moment, or to embrace it and start tweaking it while you can keep it private before publishing.
Some things of note that I found during the first little while of playing with the profiles include:
You can hover over that large image at the top of your timeline and change it to any image you choose. For photographers, you can showcase your best piece of photography.
For personal branding, you can showcase your best “cover” shot. There are a ton of different ways you can use this for branding, and they’re probably a lot easier than cutting one image into five for the previous photo strip.
Apps Making a Resurgence
Beneath your cover, you have your basic info pulled from your latest employer, location, school, and relationship status. You also have little boxes for your friends, page likes, notes, subscriptions, and other items that were previously in the left sidebar under your photo.
I like the option to switch the main four boxes as the Notes start out in the first four. If you don’t have notes, it looks pretty bleak. And if you click on the plus sign above the blank boxes, you can add your apps here. I don’t have many at all, but if you do, you might have a good one to feature in the main four.
If you had a major life events you can highlight it on your timeline.
Other examples include:
- Add a Job
- Military Service
- Bought a Home
- Add a Roommate
- Add a Vehicle
- Broke a Bone
- Had Surgery
- Overcame an Illness
- Learned a Language
- Got a License
- Achievement or Award
And if none of those fit, there’s always the Other Life Event selection to choose.
This part strikes me as a bit interesting. Like it’s Facebook’s way of tracking things you say and do a little more closely in their database. Imagine the potential if any automobile parts company know what kind of vehicle everyone has – they could make a lot of custom little Facebook ads for you that said “Get a new stereo for your Kia Soul.” Pharmaceutical companies could have a field day with publicly available health information in a timeline format. The possibilities for advertising and other creepy activities based on this information – priceless! That said, I’m going to see if I can up the ads I see for pet products by adding my cats in.
Featured Updates on the Timeline
Have an update that you want to draw attention to? Just click on the star and make it a Feature on Your Timeline. This will make it expand across the wall instead of being side by side with something else.
Actually, if you’re not a fan of the side by side updates in general, you could just click the star and expand them all. This only works on wall posts (ones you’ve made, ones friends have made on your wall, and tagged items. The expanding across the page doesn’t work on the apps or summary boxes at the end of each month which in of themselves are neat, but you can remove them by hovering over, clicking on the pencil, and hiding them from the timeline.
And That’s About That…
For now at least. I’m sure there will be much more to discover as everything rolls out and everyone has had their profiles switched to the new layout. What are your thoughts? Love it, hate it, or other? What other interesting finds have you seen so far?