Facebook trials timeline in NZ

GREER MCDONALD
Last updated 14:13 07/12/2011
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Facebook is trialling its new timeline on Kiwis before unleashing it on the world.

Kiwi Facebook users will become the first worldwide to experience the timeline product when the overhaul of profiles on the popular social network becomes available over the next 24 hours.

Facebook announced the much-anticipated change at 2pm today, two and a half months after announcing the new product.

Project manager Sam Lessin said Facebook was starting with New Zealand consumers to monitor development, speed and performance.

"We're a highly global company. We frequently start in the States because we want to show our mums," he said.

But by starting the rollout in New Zealand, Facebook were able to "move things slowly out the door," he said.

There are more than 2 million Facebook users in New Zealand.

Timelines had previously been open to developers to apply to their profiles but not the majority of the 800 million users.

Changes to users profiles include a different layout, the ability to "jump back" in time, increased privacy controls and viewing more of your friends' web activity.

Lessin said no privacy changes were being made with the release, however it would be a different way of displaying information that was already on Facebook but had "dropped off the wall".

Because of this, users would have a seven-day period where they could see their new timeline and adjust it before enabling it for their friends to view.

"You'll have the ability to curate the image you're projecting," he said.

"The real goal here is to get it to another population which is far away from our data centres.

"We're definitely taking our time with this. We're going to take a slow approach," he said.
 
Lessin said New Zealand was chosen because it was an English-speaking country so it was easier for the company to monitor feedback and it was far enough away from the United States to monitor potential issues.

Just this week, Facebook was coming under attack from media who claimed they were "running late" with the promised features which were announced almost three months ago.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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