Facebook Timeline: What Is It And How To Use It

Reading time: 7 min read
Muninder Adavelli
Written by
Muninder Adavelli

Updated · Aug 30, 2023

Muninder Adavelli
Digital Growth Strategist | Joined October 2021 | Twitter LinkedIn
Muninder Adavelli

Muninder Adavelli is a core team member and Digital Growth Strategist at Techjury. With a strong bac... | See full bio

Florence Desiata
Edited by
Florence Desiata


Florence Desiata
Joined June 2023 | LinkedIn
Florence Desiata

Florence is a dedicated wordsmith on a mission to make technology-related topics easy-to-understand.... | See full bio

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Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook on February 4, 2004. Facebook started as a private online directory for college students at Harvard.

Now, Facebook has roughly 3.03 billion monthly active users as of the first quarter of 2023.

Over the years, Facebook has accumulated many apps, including Instagram, with over 2.3 billion active users monthly. Zuckerberg also launched an app with the same features as Twitter called Threads.

For Facebook users, the Timeline showcases their “online personality” by featuring events and activities throughout their membership.

Continue reading to learn more about Facebook Timeline, its notable features, and its latest developments.

Let’s get started.

🔑Key Takeaways

  • Timeline is a Facebook feature once not welcomed by its users upon release.
  • The development of the Timeline created a more organized "feed" for the user's activities.
  • Malicious individuals can use the personal information publicized in Timelines, so think carefully before posting anything.

What is a Timeline on Facebook? 

Facebook Timeline was introduced in September 2011 and made available to all users in February 2012.

Mark Zuckerberg’s old Facebook profile

Facebook Timeline creates a more visually complete profile by combining a user's Facebook Wall and Profile into one page.

When Facebook was first released, the Wall showed all of the user’s posts and posts from other people. It is similar to what we now call Newsfeed.

The integration of Timeline allows users to control what appears on their Profile page.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Timeline

You can navigate your past posts and tags by clicking Manage Posts or Filters

There's an option to customize your posts on who can see them by choosing Edit Audience in the three horizontal dots. 

Another option is to Pin a post so that it's the first thing people see when they open your profile.

You can see how other users view your profile. You can do this by clicking the three horizontal lines in your Menu bar and choosing View As.

Your Timeline is the section of your profile where you can view the following chronologically: 

  • posts from friends, 
  • stories you’re tagged in, and 
  • your posts.

Each user who registers for a Facebook account has a personal Timeline that they can edit to include their life events.

The moment you create your Facebook account, the Timeline starts. 

You can set up your Facebook Timeline for what others can or cannot see.

"It's the heart of your Facebook experience, completely rethought from the ground up… Timeline is the story of your life."

– Mark Zuckerberg

Sections divide your Timeline, and each section consists of entries displayed in boxes. Sections display each box entry in descending chronological order.

You can check other people's Timelines by clicking their profiles or searching their names.

Various posts you have no control over crowd the News Feed. Visiting other people’s timelines allows you to control what you want to see. 

There are a lot of features in your Timeline. Understanding how to utilize your Facebook Timeline will help you have a better experience.

Using the Facebook Timeline

You will be directed to the Newsfeed page when logging into your account. To view your Timeline, click your photo with your name on the top left corner of the page.

Facebook Timeline

Using Facebook Timeline is easy. It has buttons directing you to an About You section, Friends, Photos, and Videos, among others.

In your timeline, you will see your Profile Picture and Cover Photo. There's also information about you that you choose to open to the public in the Intro section.

Your Timeline is arranged reverse-chronologically. You can also display your posts in a List View or Grid View.

You can also create and post the following: 

  • Status text update and customize with a colorful background
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • GIFs
  • Check-in
  • Life Events
  • Feeling/Activity

There's also an option to organize your Friends through a Friends List:

  • Close Friends - The closest people you want to share your posts the most
  • Acquaintances - This is a list of people you want to share fewer posts with.
  • Restricted - A list of people you added as friends but don't want to share your posts with.
  • Others  - A list you can customize to control who can view your posts and activities on Facebook. 

The Activity Log feature allows users to see your activities, like: 

  • Posts
  • Activity you're tagged in
  • Interactions
  • Groups, Events, and Reels
  • Profile information
  • Connections
  • Logged actions and others

You can tweak your Timeline by clicking the three vertical dots in your post. You have the option to:

  • Hide a post
  • Move an item to the archive
  • change audience
  • move the trash

The Timeline has undergone many changes since its inception in 2011. Know the development of the Facebook Timeline in the next section.


Pro Tip: You can save a Facebook post that caught your attention by clicking the three dots at the top of the post and selecting Save Link.

The Development of the Facebook Timeline

As the years passed, Facebook introduced a mini-feed cluttered in the user's profile. This feature became controversial because it shows people's activities.

In 2008, Facebook created the Wall, where you or others can post messages, pictures, and videos.

Timeline debuted in 2011, which was optional at first. It is an organized layout of one's profile and updates of stories with two columns dividing the page.

In the same year, Facebook introduced the Activity Log so users could review their activities on the platform.

Together with it, a Ticker was also introduced and showed a stream of your friends' activities. It got killed off when Facebook was redesigned in 2013, together with the two-column layout.


🎉Fun Fact: Facebook isn’t exclusive for personal use. There are 60 million Facebook business pages present, and 93% of marketers use Facebook ads to promote their brands. No wonder, especially in the US, since 81% of American adults use Facebook.

In 2016, Facebook introduced the Reactions button, allowing users to express their feelings about what they saw or read.

There was also a time when you could choose the Hide From Your Timeline option when you post something. Now, you must select Move to Archive by clicking the three horizontal dots on each post.

Facebook also introduced Timeline Apps that allow users to post their activities from other apps. This feature can be useful if you want to share achievements and winning streaks from other games and apps.

The Timeline received criticism when it was launched, but it has become part of the user's experience. Learn about the Timeline’s advantages and disadvantages in the next section.


🎉Fun Fact: You can download a copy of everything you’ve done on Facebook. The copy includes all chat messages and the posts you shared, among many others!

Advantages vs. Disadvantages of Using Facebook Timeline 

The Timeline encourages people to customize their accounts. Its objective is to map the virtual and multimedia history of the user.

That's why what you put in your Timeline creates your reputation online. Remember always to think before you post something on your Timeline.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of using Facebook Timeline in a nutshell:



A more appealing visual scheme.

Malicious individuals can use the personal information you share for identity theft.

A wider selection of social buttons.

Complicated to navigate for non-tech-savvy users.

Organizes content by segmenting the categories into different sections (photos, posts, reels, etc.).


A more flexible privacy option for each post.


Whether you love Facebook Timeline or not, the only way forward is to get used to it and learn how to maximize its potential.

Bottom Line

Facebook is still the biggest social media platform today. There's no stopping it from evolving, creating, and adapting to trends.

Timelines now serve as a reference as to what kind of person you are. If you post memes, political insights, food, or plant pictures, it will show your interests and hobbies. 

Influencers, businesses, or anyone who uses social media platforms to reach their audience can attract people by curating a good Timeline.

Over the years, the platform introduced many changes to the Timeline. With Facebook promising a new metaverse, users can expect exciting new updates.


Can you hide your Facebook Timeline from everyone?

No. However, you can alter your profile privacy to prevent certain posts, videos, and photos, among others, from being seen by specific users.

Who can post on your Timeline?

Only you and your friends. In some instances, only you can post on your Timeline if you turn off the option of having other people post on it.

Why can't I post on a friend's Timeline?

Privacy settings may prevent you from posting something to another user's wall.


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