Getting Techy With It: Facebook Timeline Tips

I actually forget that most people are just getting Timeline on Facebook. When it was first announced, someone leaked a sneaky backdoor way to get it early, so I've been fiddling with it for months. I love the new layout, and I kinda like that I can scroll down and see what people have been up to for the past few years. I also like the creativity that people are putting into making their Facebook page more unique. It's a great way to customize what has traditionally been a pretty vanilla landing page. Whether or not you like or want Timeline, in the next few weeks you will have it. So take a moment to get to know it and have some fun with it. 
Cover Photo

This is your spot to be creative. Use a beautiful landscape picture, find a picture that you think fits the space well, or be creative and make a collage or take a custom picture to use. Remember this is THE image that people are going to see when clicking on your page, so make it something that represents who you are.

The Timeline cover photo size is 850×315 (850px wide and 315px height) - so a panoramic-type picture is best to fit the space. I tried a few different covers before deciding to do a collage from a family photo session last summer. Using Picasa (a free download photo editing tool) I made a collage of a group of pictures in the correct size. I love these pictures of my family, and love that when people see my page they get a great sense of who we are in one shot. 

If you want to use a beautiful image to represent your page, check out They hand-pick beautiful photos and images that are already sized for Timeline. I love seeing what people are coming up with. For super creative graphic-types this is a chance to shine - using  both your avatar and photo in conjunction to create a cohesive look across the top of your page. 


Most of us who are Gen-Xers and older haven't been on Facebook long enough to have embarrassing college moments and now regrettable status updates. But? It's a good thing to do a quick scroll back to make sure you didn't say something incriminating before your parents and in-laws joined Facebook. It's simple to go back to those updates, hover over the left side of the update box until you see the pencil icon, then chose "remove from timeline" or just delete. 

I joined Facebook in June of 2007 - when I was about 4-5 months pregnant with Zoe. What I realized is that Zoe's entire life is documented in Timeline. From her first pictures, to videos of her first words and steps, it's all there. As a mom who always wanted to scrapbook more, I love it! But in 10 years will Zoe like my status updates about potty training or her Target meltdown? While I love to share about my kids, I usually do try to follow the "ten year rule" - in 10 years if they see this information, will they be embarrassed or horrified that I put that online? If so, I rethink what I'm about to say. 


One of the things that Facebook is touting as a positive feature is the integration of apps to Timeline. While fabulous, remember if you allow a 3rd party app to post things to your Timeline, people are going to learn some things about you that you may not want public - like that you've been listening to an hour-long Nelson marathon on Spotify. 

Changing what people can see is simple, though - just go to  “Account Settings” in the very top right pulldown menu on your profile, then click “Apps” and you’ll be presented with a list of all of the apps that have access to your Timeline. Remove the ones you don’t like or, under “App activity privacy,” change who can and can’t see the content posted by that app.

Stop Complaining and Go with It

Facebook is always going to evolve and change. It will never be the same from year to year. It's technology. It's innovation. It's the future. Don't fight it - embrace it. Learn how to use it to your advantage and to your liking... and if you don't like it, you can always delete your profile. But you know you'll never do that.