Milestones are part of the new Facebook Timeline feature which is rolling out to everyone now.
There are a lot of people who are upset about this feature and for personal accounts I can understand why, it requires more careful attention to your privacy settings. However, I also think that Milestones have the potential to be a really useful and fun feature for people and pages if it were surfaced more easily for viewers.
Careful With That Timeline
Facebook privacy controls aren’t the easiest to manage at the best of times, but Timeline basically requires you to pay attention to your privacy levels and the privacy level of all your posts and ‘likes’ in the past. This is because the timeline makes it incredibly easy for people to go back over your history and see what you said in the past or what link you clicked on. If this is worrying you then I suggest a few steps:
- Look up some good articles on Facebook privacy settings (Mashable has an excellent one) and spend an hour with it to make sure everything is set the way you want.
- Go back through your timeline (just click on your name at the top left in facebook) and make sure there is nothing there that you wouldn’t want others to see. To do this click the settings icon and choose “view as…” then you can enter the name of anyone on your friends list to see how they can see you.
- Now more than ever always follow the golden rule of the Internet.
“Once you’ve typed out your latest inspiring thought, before you hit enter, consider: If someone finds what you said tomorrow, next year or in twenty years when you are running for president, would you stand behind what you are about to send out into the ether? Are you sure? If not, then delete the text and go watch a cat video to get your mind off it.”
Feature request: If any at Facebook is listening, to make this Milestones for Pages features really useful it would be great to have a filter that showed only Milestones and no other news or links to allow people to explore the history without other clutter.
Moral of the Story
Whether you are managing a brand for an organization or you are just a regular person who likes staying in touch with your friends and making the occasional public comment, the new age of interconnected information you need to take control of the information being stored about you and consider how it is presented. The Internet never forgets, but that doesn’t mean you can’t control have some control over how it is presents what it remembers.