The new Facebook

Facebook is being updated again! No, not the sidebar. A whole new profile layout is up and coming, totally revamping the way users interact with the site and present their personal information.

Announced at the f8 Developers Conference in San Fransisco, Facebook is making the profile page a timeline, an electronic scrapbook of the user’s life.

The idea is to track the most sentimental events, like friendships, relationships, graduations and broken bones, and to place them in chronological perspective, creating a visual summary of life recorded on facebook.

Every post, comment, “like,” photo and connection will be amalgamated and sorted in the new timeline. Someone can look five years back to when they started using the online network and know who were their first friends and their favorite albums.

The vast rerouting and reorganization of data is a phenomenal feat for Facebook, but it leaves some worried about the apparent loss of privacy.

Despite the fact that every Facebook service is voluntary and the privacy settings of any piece of information can be customized, those who opt for the new timeline will find their entire personal history conveniently organized online for data-miners, identity thieves and any general e-crook.

Of course true cases of identity theft are far between, and Facebook prides itself on its strong security for users.

However, any time a user voluntarily downloads an app or service, they agree, whether they read the license agreement or not, to open information to third parties to read.

When it comes down to it, the timeline will just be another step in the integrated evolution of social media, and Facebook aims to keep ahead of the curve.

But regardless of how much security and privacy Facebook implements, it is the responsibility of the user to protect his or her own information.

Although not out for widespread public use yet, www.techcrunch.com already has an article with instructions to download a developer app and to enable the timeline for most users.

The new timeline layout will include a large personalized banner, the standard profile picture and sections grouped by themes, such as posts and pictures relevant to a trip to the Grand Canyon made two years ago all in one clever box.

If anything, the nostalgia factor generated by the layout will inspire and surprise.

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