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New Facebook ‘Timeline’ Feature Has Some Users Worried

Facebook is getting ready to roll out its new "Timeline" feature for users. (Facebook)

Facebook is getting ready to roll out its new “Timeline” feature for users. (Facebook)

Vince Gerasole Vince Gerasole
Vince Gerasole serves as a general assignment reporter for CBS 2...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – The face of Facebook — the social network of 800 million people — is changing again, and this time in a very big way.

It’s also making some people nervous.

It will be easier to access posts and pictures from years ago that were once buried and forgotten.  Your profile will be called a “Timeline” now. Through it, you can highlight a cover photo, add a close-up face picture, and friends can zero in on a particular year in your life. 

If that’s the year of your crazy college formal, you might be concerned. 

“When it gets rolled out to everybody, people are going to be crazy mad, ” consultant Cameron Croft says.

He has been testing the new Facebook for over a month, even designing a snazzy new cover picture to welcome clients.

But the social network’s new feature now automatically sorts every picture and post ever associated with Croft, by year. A forgotten and once buried reaction to his nephew’s birth is a click away.

Timeline, not Croft, chose to randomly highlight and enlarge these photos.  It’s up to him to change, hide, or delete them.  In the past, it would take dozens of clicks to even find the stuff.

“Now you can see every single post with just one click,” Croft says. “That’s really scary.”

Tracy Samantha Schmidt, the Tribune Company’s social media maven, also has been testing the new Facebook along with friends. The young professionals are making time to police, make private or remove their social histories 

Even with the high-tech savvy Schmidt, innocent stuff can surface, such as a college friend’s joke about a beer keg.

“Facebook was a college social network. Now it’s used by 800 million people worldwide,” says Schmidt.

Coming are newer and more detailed privacy settings to let you choose just who can see your posts and pictures, depending on whether you classify someone as a friend, family member or acquaintance. But you’ll have to go through each of them to make that decision, and that will take time.

Schmidt teaches a class on that very subject at The Tribune Tower.  Click here for more information.