Facebook Timeline: What you need to know

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- If you're one of Facebook's 800 million users, chances area you've heard rumblings about Timeline.

In general, Facebook users are not known for welcoming layout changes, but experts say Timeline is a great improvement over the current static profile pages.

CNN's Karin Caifa gave 3TV's Scott Pasmore the lowdown on Timeline, which was first announced in September, and what you need to know.

According to Facebook, Timeline is simply a new way to telling your story and sharing your content -- the logical evolution of your profile.

"With timeline, now you have a home for all the great stories you've already shared," wrote Facebook product manager Sam Lessin in a blog announcing Timeline. "They don't just vanish as you add new stuff.

"Now, you and your friends will finally be able to tell all the different parts of your story – from the small things you do each day to your biggest moments."

Caifa said while implementing Timeline does require some effort on your part, it's not nearly as scary as some naysayers might have made it sound.

Once you choose to get Timeline, you'll have seven days to get your new page in order before it goes live. Once you've made the change to Timeline, however, there's no going back.

One of the big differences with Timeline is the cover photo. Rather than a small picture, you have a large picture that stretches all the way across the page.

"The first thing you want to do is make sure you choose a good picture," Caifa said.

The other thing to realize is that Timeline is just that -- a time line of your entire life, not just your life since getting your Facebook account.

"You can go back and fill in the blanks with those kindergarten pictures ..., baby photos, photos of you and your family," Caifa said.

You'll need to go through your Facebook posts and pick and choose what you want to keep and who gets to see it.

"It is actually going to take you some time .... Facebook has done a lot of the work for you in digging up those posts and presenting them to you," Caifa explained.

While only a fraction of Facebook users have already adopted Timeline and it is still a choice, pretty soon it won't be an option. Caifa herself hasn't made the switch. Neither have her co-workers. On the "Good Morning! Arizona" staff, Gina Maravilla is the only one so far who has converted her profile to Timeline.

Have you gotten Timeline? What do you think of it? Share your comments and opinions below.