Facebook announced in a blog post yesterday it has begun rolling out its much anticipated Timeline feature in New Zealand, and will soon begin launching it more broadly.
Facebook product manager Sam Lessin wrote yesterday in a blog post about the Timeline feature, which was formally announced at the f8 conference in September: “We’ll begin by making it available to people in New Zealand and then roll it out more broadly in the near future. The Timeline feature, when it is finally launched, will let users paint for themselves a picture of their digital life, at least, their digital life on Facebook, showing all of their updates from their first friend to their last status post or comment.
Facebook is promoting Timeline as a way to give users more creative control over how they display content. Instead of being bound by the traditional wall posting constraints, a Facebook member will find that with Timeline they can experiment and display content according to their preference. Facebook is giving Kiwis the first look at Timeline as a way for it to assess its performance and get some idea of whether users like it – or not.
Lessin said Facebook decided to roll out Timeline in New Zealand first, mainly because it is an English speaking country and also because it is far from their data centers, so they can monitor speed and performance. Lessin also said there is no set schedule for launching Timeline in other regions, and they are in no hurry to do so. Speaking about the launch of Timeline with nzherald.co.nz, he said: “We’re definitely taking our time with this one. It will give people a chance to get excited about what they can do with it.” Lessin said more than one million people have signed up for the Timeline developer beta since it was released in September, and they have received very helpful feedback from them.
The announcement that Facebook will release Timeline to its first audience comes on the heels of several negative developments for the social networking giant. The United States Federal Trade Commission said last week it reached a settlement with Facebook over “unfair and deceptive practice” with regard to privacy policies.” The settlement requires Facebook to allow regular privacy audits every year for 20 years.
And this week CEO Mark Zuckerberg made headlines when some of his personal information on his own Facebook page became public as a result of a technical glitch, which has since been repaired. Zuckerberg’s private photos, and other users’ photos as well, were accidentally exposed for a time.