Facebook Starts Shipping Timeline for All Users 4 Months Late!

Remember the famous quote “Real artists ship” attributed to Steve Jobs. It about how all companies have to actually deliver. I also think somewhere down the line, a good product should be shipped in time.

It was in September 2011, when Facebook announced Timelines, a new layout for Facebook. That is now almost four months ago. The promise being that the new Timeline feature would be rolled out within the next 10 days to all Facebook users. Some said it was a knee jerk reaction to Google+, others felt Facebook was reinventing social media.

The world was set for Facebook to do something radical, probably for one last time, as once it has an IPO, such radical changes might be difficult to explain or rather convince to shareholders.

Facebook Timeline Layout

The Timeline Saga

It was initially rolled out to only developers and that hack was used by many to get Timeline layout.

There were some issues regarding timelines and the wait for it got longer. Apparently a website by the name Timelines.com, had legal issues with Facebook using the term Timelines.

Finally Facebook, did start an international roll-out for all users in New Zealand. It eventually made Timelines available to all users. Though not all users were on the new Timeline layout as they had to opt-in for it.

Finally, Facebook will be forcing Timelines to all users over the next few weeks. I have mixed feelings about the new layout, as it makes all past post quite easily available for others to look up. We decided to take a poll on our Facebook page about Timelines . Though the number of people voting on it were very few the verdict on if people liked or disliked Timelines stood at 50/50.

What are your views on Timelines? Do drop in your comments.

(via Facebook Blog)

How to Opt Out of Facebook’s ‘Timeline’ Feature

In mid-September, Facebook announced a radical change to its layout. The Timeline feature has made many Facebook users, register as developers. This is because of a trick that allows developers to get Timeline feature on their Facebook profile. So like millions of others, I ended up registering myself as a developer and activating Timeline on my profile. The profile looked a bit like the screenshot below. :-)

Facebook Timeline Layout

Facebook has delayed rolling out Timeline for all users possibly fearing a backlash.

In case you are feeling stuck on Timelines; you might want to delete the dummy app you created to simply revert back to the old layout or opt-out of Timeline.

Opt-Out of Facebook Timeline

  • Firstly, this works for users who registered as a developer to get the new timeline feature. Visit the  developer page on Facebook (developers.facebook.com).
  • Now look up the App settings which was created to register as a developer for getting Timeline on your profile.
  • At the App settings on the left hand corner you can see a link to delete the app (see image).
  • Now look up your profile on Facebook and you are back to the old layout. :-)
Note: This is meant to work only if you registered as a developer to get the Timeline features. Once the feature goes live for all users, as Facebook has promised, this method will not work.

Why Facebook Timelines could never be released?

Taking a straw poll of my friends, I found that most people did not find Timeline adding in a big way to their Facebook usage. Some simply found the change of design too radical. Facebook in the past has simply not cared about feedback from users; but with Google+ around, they will be forced to not alienate their users to the extent they might move away from Facebook.

My intuition is that Facebook might release ‘timeline’ with a layout which is a lot similar to the linear way people look at their profile or they might allow users to opt-in and opt-out for them to get used to the new profile layouts.

Do you like Timelines on Facebook? Do drop in your comments.