The opening slate on Timeline is a radical departure from previous versions of the Facebook user profile. The most prominent feature is the addition of a cover photo at the top of the page. Users can change this to whatever they'd like it to be.
I have to admit it, I was like a lot of you when I first learned Facebook was unveiling something called "Timeline." Really, more changes? I was just getting used to the ticker.
But after I spent the last 48 hours on "Timeline," I'm going to make a very big statement -- and one I totally will never regret.
Timeline is the greatest thing Facebook has done to date.
This is not an overstatement. It's not an exaggeration. It's the plain, simple truth. With "Timeline," Facebook has put your existence, your entire life (if you want it) online. It makes every day people digitally immortal and it's terrifyingly amazing.
Social Media Leap
When social networking first took root, it was revolutionary. It made long-distance friends closer and made new friendships deeper. It made connecting easier.
Timeline takes that experience to another level and as it is pushed to 750 million human beings around the world, it will change the way we socially connect.
First, it replaces the iconic Facebook Profile with your entire life. Yes, your entire life. It's a visual history of your existence, starting with your birth. It reminds you of lovers, friends, frenemies, deaths, birthdays, breakups, all those memorable moments that had been vague thoughts in your mind are now a clear, crisp scrapbook of your life.
Timeline Test Drive
At first glance, timeline appears intimidating. With two columns of photos, information and videos current Facebook users may be apprehensive, at first. Once you dive you in, you'll enjoy the experience.
Off the bat, you notice the large opening photo to compliment your profile picture. To the left, the chronological stream or timeline lets you zoom into moments in time and check in on everything you've ever done or participated in on Facebook: status updates, wall posts, photo tags. The further you scroll, the years zoom by -- your first time on Facebook, old dates, when you first met friends, all the way to the day you were born.
Since Facebook wasn't born until 2004, you can manually add "life events" to the timeline, making it more rich and accurate. As I added more old pictures, I realized how more amazing Timeline becomes.
You'll Get Emotional
Timeline did something to me I was not expecting. It made me cry. It also mad me laugh. It made me remember great moments and sad moments. It was emotional.
Facebook organizes each year, month in a clear and crisp presentation. Unlike the old Facebook profile that acted like a shoebox of memories, Timeline is a high-end, leather bound photo album of your life.
And, getting from moment to moment is easy. You get sucked into reliving those moments, remembering the emotions you felt when you graduated college, when your nephew was born or when first learned a close high school friend had died. Facebook is no longer just a website of updates, status updates and candid photos -- it's the writing on the walls like an Egyptian tomb documenting your life.
If you are among those that hate the changes Facebook has done in the past -- the security drama and the goal to make social networking more social -- Timeline is not for you. You'll have little choice over the next few months. Facebook intends to replace all 750 million profiles with Timeline and if you hate the idea of sharing too much, your only option is to leave Facebook.
But you shouldn't. You should give Timeline a try. For those who are cautious about your information, you have all the control on what you want to share. But not sharing kind of diminishes the idea of Timeline and Facebook as a whole. Once you buy in, upload photos and share moments, you'll not only experience your life over again, but you'll also experience a deeper connection with your friends and experience their moments and their emotions. You'll know them better because of Facebook.