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Millions of Facebook users will be scrambling to remove embarrassing photos and incriminating wall posts after the social network announced it will force all members onto its new Timeline feature in the coming weeks.
Timeline, which replaces a user’s simple profile page, will give an historical view of a user since they first joined, and give easier access for others to view photos and posts made over the years.
While everything on Timeline can be found in the current version of Facebook, photos and posts that were well hidden previously will now be much easier to view.
Given the massive change and potential for unwanted material to resurface, users will be given seven days to review their Timeline before it can be seen by friends.
It is not yet known if users who don’t log in for the next couple of months will be afforded the same seven-day grace period.
The new feature was announced at the f8 developer conference in September, but only made widely available to users in December when the option to switch was made active.
There was much confusion about when Timeline would permanently replace the current profile page, but Facebook confirmed the move in a blog post on Tuesday.
“Over the next few weeks, everyone will get timeline,” the post from Facebook engineer Paul McDonald said. “When you get timeline, you’ll have seven days to preview what’s there now. This gives you a chance to add or hide whatever you want before anyone else sees it.”
Not everyone is happy about the changes, with one Facebook page, called Timeline Sucks, set up to protest the move and request the site give users the choice of which profile page they want.
“We the members of this social network would like for the new timeline feature to be optional,” it says on its welcome page.
“You look exactly like myspace an (sic) if you don’t change this you will suck like myspace too!”
Facebook has not provided an exact date on which the changeover will take place.