By Nina Burns, Reporter
Facebook: a place to chat with your friends, post pictures, update statuses–and now show every detail of your life through the new timeline feature.
The new timeline feature will replace the current profile, showing viewers a year-by-year timeline of life events, interests and even frequently browsed websites.
The goal, said Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, is to show what users are interested in–everything from the article they are currently reading to the music they’re currently listening to.
“This is the heart of the Facebook experience, completely rethought from the ground up. We’re calling it ‘Timeline,” said Zuckerberg. “Timeline is the story of your life: all your stories, all your apps and a new way to express who you are.”
While some of the information will be generated by users, Facebook will generate favorite sites, for example, by tracking where users go while Facebook is running in the background and publishing those sites to the timeline.
It’s become a hot topic among privacy advocates and on message boards, where many say that the timeline represents a major invasion of users’ privacy. What if private searches are published?, they ask. Not every search is something users want to share with others.
Facebook’s privacy controls do allow users to turn off the search key, which will stop Facebook from following and publishing a user’s browsing, but users must turn it off.
A BETA version of the timeline is currently available on the Facebook site, and users can sign up to begin modifying theirs before it goes public. The timeline looks like a simple profile that collects pictures and data, setting them up in a easy-to-use page. There are many settings that allow users to customize it.
This video, released by Facebook, shows how the timeline works. (Like all YouTube videos, it’s not accessible from school.)