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Facebook for Android gets new Timeline feature

by Phil Hornshaw

This week, Facebook started rolling out a new feature for profiles on its website. It’s called Timeline, and it presents your Facebook activity over time in a new way.

The feature is now available for all Facebook users, just visit Facebook's Introducing Timeline page to find out more, but Facebook is already deploying it among its mobile apps. Well, not all its mobile apps. Specifically, right now, Timeline is only available on Facebook for Android.

As Fierce Mobile Content reports, the mobile Timeline view starts with a “cover photo” that you choose, and then moves down the page in reverse-chronological order, showing photos and status updates you’ve posted ranging from the newest to the oldest. Facebook explains it a little better on its blog:

As you scroll down, you'll see your posts, photos and life events as they happened, back to the day you were born. Photo albums and other posts are horizontally swipeable, so you can quickly view multiple photos or posts inline without leaving timeline. You can also swipe through the views at the top of your timeline to navigate to your map, photos, subscribers and more.

The Timeline update to Facebook also affects other parts of the interface for viewing Facebook in general. Photos uploaded and shared with friends are larger, for example, and you can see maps showing different social interactions thanks to the Facebook Places location-based features.

Right now, interestingly, Timeline is only available to Android mobile users and on the mobile web, not on Apple’s iOS platform’s version of Facebook. That’s a reversal of history for Facebook, as it usually rolls out new features on its iPhone and iPad apps first. It’s not clear what the delay is for Apple users, but for the time being, you can only enjoy the new features at Facebook.com or on an Android device.

A Nielsen survey on smartphone users from earlier this week confirmed that among everyone with a smartphone who uses apps regularly, Facebook is the most popular. Nielsen says about 80 percent of Android users who have used any app in the last 30 days have accessed Facebook in that time – and with 800 million users worldwide, that make sense.

It’s not clear if this might signal a change in how Facebook treats its mobile apps, given that while iOS is extremely popular, Android is still more so. But at least for the time being, it means cool new features that might make you happy you opted for Android over Apple. Given how many people are Android users and how many use Facebook, it’s likely at least a few will appreciate it.