Facebook Privacy - Timeline News At The Marketing Shop

Some of our regular readers will have switched over to the new Facebook Timeline, others will be changing shortly – although as yet Facebook haven’t confirmed the final launch date but it is widely expected to be weeks rather than months.

We can see enormous potential for businesses if Facebook decide to enable the same layout for businesses as they are for profiles, even if at this point it would seem apparent that a a business owner or marketer you’ll have to work that little bit harder to get real interaction – but that’s another day’s post!

For today, we’re going to look at the new Facebook Timeline, as undoubtedly in the midst of the confusion with this wonderful new format (and it is, believe me!) you may inadvertently find yourself sharing a little more than planned with the World Wide Web.  So here are the areas that you’ll need to watch…


Essentially you can now allow people to subscribe to your posts so that they can be kept up to date on selected posts that you choose to make public without having to become facebook friends with them.  This is not a default setting, but you can enable this option here by clicking the “Allow Subscribers” option.  Personally the type of people I’ve subscribed to are figures in marketing, technology, media or celebrities who are of interest but it’s an option anybody can avail of if they wish to share some content with more than just their actual facebook friends.  You are automatically subscribed to your friends updates but with this new option you can choose to only receive selected updates i.e. all updates, most important updates, some updates or specifically request life events, games, etc – depending on your relationship with them.

If you decide to allow subscribers, you can choose to decide your audience at each post i.e. Public (includes Subscribers) or Friends (those you are facebook friends with) or an alternative of your choice.  Importantly if you select public instead of Friends in error you can edit even once you’ve posted.

Your Activity

By default, all posts you make on a public fan page are now visible in your friends ticker – that little box top right that’s garnered quite a love/hate relationship amongst users.  You’ll also note that you’ll also see more of your friends comments on their own friends pages in the ticker too?

You can however choose who specifically sees each element of your facebook activity by selecting the Privacy Settings option top right of your page.  Within this you will have the option to decide to set a default audience or select by post.  You can also edit specific settings in the following areas;

– How you connect with people you know; decide who can view your timeline, can post to your timeline, who can view posts others may have made on your timeline, who can send you friend requests and who can send you messages within facebook.

– How you are tagged in comments or posts; we suggest you turn tag review on so you need to approve tags, we also turn off tag suggestions whereby facebook suggests a tag based on previous photos uploaded.

– Apps & Websites; decide what information you wish to be shared, for some it’s a surprise to realise just how many applications or websites actually have information about them.  Within this section you can also update your settings for “public search” i.e. whether you wish to be found in the search function.

– Limit the audience for past posts; essentially you can decide right down the an individual post who might see each part of your timeline – handy if you’ve taken a duvet day after a heavy night and subsequently befriended the boss!!

Facebook Ads

Where on your page you may see a friends name listed as liking a particular product, you can if you choose opt to not have your name featured in a similar way across your friends pages.  This is opt out so click on “Account Settings” on the top left, followed by “Facebook Adverts” on the left hand side.  You can choose to have your name included on ads or likes for nobody or just for friends, your choice.

It might seem a lot of information, but once you’ve played around with the Timeline for a little while we think you’ll be quite happy with it too, albeit a little confused.  So make sure to stop back and walk through these important settings on your facebook account once you’ve made the move and you’ll be more comfortable with what you’re sharing.

A little warning however, always bear in mind that you shouldn’t post something to any website that you wouldn’t want somebody else to hear – allow for errors in posting audiences or friends sharing your information at the very least!

And remember, it’s always a good idea to regularly review facebook and your privacy!


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