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Facebook redesigns profiles, adds 'timeline'

September 22, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Just when you thought you had mastered Facebook, here comes another change, and this goes way beyond the updated features that were added earlier this week. Get ready for "timeline."

At the f8 conference in San Francisco on Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled what will be an overhaul to the way Facebook connects its 750 million users.

The company has been working on "timeline" all year, and Zuckerberg says it's the heart of your Facebook experience, completely rethought from the ground up.

"Timeline is the story of your life," said Zuckerberg.

Calling it a "new way to express who you are," the timeline is reminiscent of an online scrapbook. It's Facebook's attempt at growing from an online hangout to a homestead.

"What timeline does is it starts showing all the stuff you have done recently," said Zuckerberg. "And as you start going back in time, it starts summarizing and only surfacing the important things in your life. The further back you go, the more it will summarize for you."

Basically, friends will be able to see everything you've ever posted on Facebook, and you will also be able to add to the timeline, including images from your birthday or other important events.

"It's a great way to discover all the stuff people have done their whole life," said Zuckerberg.

Many users are excited about the new feature.

"I think it's cool," said Burbank resident Ankur Kamdar. "I've got a lot of memories and a lot of photos just stashed away."

"It actually sounds pretty cool," said Burbank resident Scott Randall. "It is sort of replacing the family albums you keep in scrap books."

Zuckerberg also introduced other apps that will allow your friends to see what music you're listening to or what you're watching or reading in real time.

But all that sharing has some people asking, how much is too much?

"If you are afraid of having that information fall to the wrong hands, or you're worried about what something like timeline might do to your own sense of privacy, then don't do it," said ABC Tech Contributor Daniel Sieberg.

Dozens of new Facebook hating pages have popped up, with users expressing their frustration with the changes.

All of these features could drive users into the arms of competitors.

"A lot of innovations are stimulated by the fact that there is a lot more choice, that Facebook is not the only popularly-noted social networking site," said Sieberg.

Google launched its new social networking site, Google Plus, back in June. Many people believe it has a good approach to privacy, but it has nowhere near the users other established social network sites have.

Zuckerberg plans to unveil the new features in the coming weeks. The conference included about 2,000 entrepreneurs, developers and journalists. The event was also broadcast to more than 100,000 online viewers.

Before Zuckerberg took the stage, Saturday Night Live actor Andy Samberg impersonated him in a humorous skit.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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