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Facebook Debuts New Timeline User Profile

It's time to embrace change. Mark Zuckerberg dropped a huge bomb at the Facebook F8 Developers Conference when he announced that the company is going to roll out an entirely new profile design. The profile page, which will now be referred to as your Timeline, will no longer be made up of a standard four-column layout, and instead will feature several elements that turn your page into a customizable timeline of your entire life. Overall, the new design is much more open and eye-catching.

At the top of the screen you'll see a large horizontal photo next to your smaller headshot. Below you'll find your basic profile information, including your profile image, where you live, and relationship status. To the right you'll find boxes with your friends, photos, and pages that you have liked, each of which can be separated into their own individual timelines. So photos, for instance, can be broken down based on when they were taken.

Your update box (Newsfeed) and recent activities are positioned below your basic information. From there, a blue vertical line (a la a timeline) runs down the remainder of the page. Each time you post something to your profile, a new dot appears on the line. Events that you want to mark as important can be starred and made twice as large standard events. Less important events will be highlighted by gray dots. You can also add past events, such as your birth, to serve as the beginning of your timeline. Thankfully, you can also hide events from individual users or groups.

Overall, we liked what we saw out of the new profile layout. It feels cleaner than the current profile and offers users a more complete view of their online lives. Lucky users will be able to access a beta of the new profile immediately. The rest of us will get our hands on it in the coming weeks.