Jan. 11, 2011 at 2:20 PM ET
Denial, resentment or garden variety procrastination — whatever reason you've stuck with the old Facebook format and avoided the optional change announced last month is now moot. Or it will be soon.
"For the month of December, we gave people the option to upgrade to the new profile early, and hundreds of millions of you made the switch," Facebook's blog announced yesterday. "Starting today, we'll be rolling out the new profile to everyone."
Well, you can't say you weren't warned.
Let's review: In the new profile, your status update is no longer at the top of your page. Instead, it's that crap nobody (but your stalker) cares about — where you live, where you're from, where you work, who's your GF or BF, etc.
This personality snapshot is accompanied by a stream of potentially random, possibly humiliating photos in which you've been tagged.
While you can't stop the coming change, you do have some control. Not a lot, granted. Here's what you need to know:
Your status That ego-pinned portion that first attracted you to Facebook — the place at the top of your profile that tells your Facebook friends what you're doing, thinking, complaining or making jokes about — is no longer at the top of your page. Nothing you can do about that.
Your "experiences" That's what Facebook calls the stuff at the top of your new profile — seemingly random information culled from your Basic Information. This replaces the summary and/or Internet address you previously posted under your profile picture.
Currently, there is no obvious way to control what appears in the new summary except to change who can see this information in your profile settings — when possible — or delete that info completely.
For example, there seems to be no way to control who sees where you live, where you're from and where you work, unless you delete that information.
Photo stream of your recently-tagged photos. The random panel of photos at the top of the new profile seems to be what users hate most. It moves those images buried in your photo albums —or the tagged images of you in the Facebook photo albums of friends – front and center. And that can be … well … embarrassing.
The current options for controlling what photos your photo stream are somewhat limited, but available.
A. You can hide an unwanted photo when it pops up in your photo stream by moving your cursor over the image until an "x" pops up – then click.
B. If friends have tagged you in their images that you don't want up there, you can always un-tag your name.
C. You can control who sees photos tagged with your name. Here's how you do that.
D. You can also eschew the photo stream entirely by getting creative using the new Facebook apps that help make your profile pretty. Winda Benedetti tells you how to turn your new Facebook profile into sprawling pieces of personalized art here.
Featuring friends. Here's a loaded feature that's bound to hurt more than a few feelings, including long-past high school adults who should totally know better. With the new Facebook profile, you have the option to feature specific besties, or customized lists of besties – or those "friends" you're sure will impress others. If you want to brave that social minefield, here's what you do:
Why is this happening?! As I've said before, the only thing consistent about change is that it sucks. You'll note that the latest Facebook change you're complaining about has a new emphasis on photos — one of the most popular features on Facebook, yet one that's sort of hidden compared to other content on the social networking site.
Other somewhat hidden information in the old profile, such as your background or interest, now takes center stage to give your Facebook friends a better overview of who you are, as opposed to the status of what you're doing.
One might argue that while this is an appropriate way of stacking information on a dating site, not so much a social network in which we ostensibly already know about the people we're Facebook friending. But who are we kidding? Change is coming, if it isn't already here. Adapt or go back to Friendster.