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  • Timeline: The Evolving Facebook Profile
Technology Articles > Social Networking > Facebook > Timeline: The Evolving Facebook Profile

There is no doubting that Facebook is the top social networking site online, but it wasn't always that way. Facebook replaced Mypace, which replace the previous popular online social tools, like Xanga. In all likelihood, eventually a new social networking service will come along to replace Facebook as the number one choice for online socializing. One way that Facebook is beating back the tides of change, is by constantly innovating everything users have come to expect and love about their service. The latest innovation taking Facebook by storm, is called the Timeline.

Facebook's Timeline totally reinvents the user profile feature of the popular social networking service. The Timeline reorganizes all of the user's information on one, comprehensive page. The traditional Facebook profile is divided into several different pages, each headed with the user's profile photo and some basic information, like occupation and hometown. There is a wall page, where users can see a person's status updates and what his or her contacts have shared on the wall. Then there is an info page which holds information about employers, schools, birthdays, relationship status and interests. Facebook's profile setup also has separate pages for photos and videos posted, and a page listing all the user's friends.

At the top of the user's Timeline on Facebook, is a space reserved for the cover. Sort of like a magazine cover, the user selects a unique image that best represents him or her. The cover is the first thing a person will see when visiting a user's timeline. On the bottom left corner of the cover image, is the user's profile picture, which overlaps the cover and the rest of the page. Just below the cover is some basic information, much like what appears at the top of the Facebook profile, which is beside icons reflecting the user's friends, photos, a map of places the user has checked-in, likes and more.

Under the cover, the stories section is located. Users can use this space to tell their stories with the Facebook Timeline. People choose their most memorable updates, links and photos to display on the page. Instead of the linear wall on Facebook's profile page, which only displays the latest posts, the Timeline stories section allows people to convey a more complete picture of their lives. People can choose which highlights from their years of status updates best represent their online persona.

At the bottom of the Timeline, are the Facebook apps. Facebook has integrated many online services, allowing users to easily share more of what they're doing and what they like. Not only do most popular sites have built-in Facebook sharing tools, but many have developed apps that automatically sync your activity to your Facebook stream.

Netflix and Hulu apps allow users to share what movies or television shows they're streaming, while Spotify syncs your music playlist directly to your wall. Now your friends and contacts can see your exercise routes, favorite TV shows and much more by visiting the lower portion of your Facebook Timeline.