Your Complete Guide to Facebook Timeline

Whether you like it or not, Facebook Timeline is becoming mandatory. Here's CIO.com's complete guide on everything you need to know -- including first steps and privacy changes -- to help ease the transition.

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Wed, January 25, 2012
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Facebook Timeline: How to Adjust Your Privacy Settings

When you (or Facebook) migrates your account to the new Timeline, you'll have one week to make adjustments to your past posts and privacy settings before your Timeline will go live for everyone to see. You can publish your Timeline yourself anytime within the seven-day waiting period.

It's important to note that Facebook does not change the privacy settings of your old posts; it retains the privacy settings from when you originally posted it. That means that while today you may limit wall posts to just your "Limited Profile" list, posts from years ago could be "Friends only" or even public since the Limited Profile option did not exist at the time.

You have a few options when it comes to pruning old posts:

Make all posts friends-only. It's possible that your past posts have varied privacy settings based on when they were posted. One way—the easiest of them all—is to use one of the blanket privacy settings: "Limit the Audience for past Posts." You'll find this option near the bottom of your Privacy Settings page.


If you decide to use this option, the content on your Timeline that you've shared with more than your friendssuch as public postswill automatically change to Friends only. With this setting, though, people who are tagged and their friends will still be able to see the post.

Limit the posts by others on your Timeline. Another way to hide past posts is to limit specific people or lists of people from viewing what others have posted to your wall. To do this, go to your Privacy Settings page, then select "Edit Settings" next to "How You Connect." Select the drop-down menu next to the last item—"Who can see posts by others on your timeline?" and choose "Custom."


In the box under "Hide this from," type the names of the people or the lists that you want to exclude from viewing posts from others on your wall—for example those on your Limited Profile list. Then click Save Changes.

Use "Activity Log" to edit posts manually. On your Timeline, click the "Activity Log" button that appears under your Cover Photo (the large landscape picture). From here, you can use the drop-down menu in the top-right that says "All" to drill down to every type of post or event that has appeared on your wall.


From this view, you can see who currently can see a particular item by clicking on the gear icon next to the post. You can also click the circle icon next to that to either "star" it on Timeline, hide it from Timeline, delete the post entirely or change the date.

[For more information on Timeline privacy, read, "Facebook's New Timeline: Important Privacy Settings to Adjust Now."]

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