Facebook: Timeline is coming — whether you like it or not

Screenshot of Timeline (click to enlarge)

Facebook debuted a new design for user profiles called Timeline at its f8 conference Thursday in San Francisco. If you don’t love the new look at first sight, you better learn to at least like it: Timeline will soon be the only profile design available to Facebook users.

The initial roll-out of Timeline will be gradual, Product VP Christopher Cox said in a post-keynote press conference at f8. “We want to go really slowly with this roll-out and give people several weeks to read about [Timeline],” he said. “It’s not like people are going to log in one day and their whole profile will change. We’re getting a lot of material out there so people can understand it.”

But eventually, all profiles will be transitioned to the Timeline interface. While Facebook expects some people to be resistant to the big change, “eventually we will have to move those people over” to the Timeline design, Cox said. In a follow-up interview, a Facebook spokesperson said that opt-in will be available “for a few weeks” before everyone is moved over to the new design.

Also during the press conference, Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that some users will complain about the new look, and that there may be different reactions across age groups. But he was steadfast in Facebook’s decision to give itself a makeover — again and again. “The world is moving quickly, and we want to be innovative and try new things,” he said. Whether Facebook’s users will be as keen to the change remains to be seen.