Facebook users received an early holiday gift today from Zuckerburg and Co. in the form of Facebook Timeline. Now officially released to the public, this new feature serves as a chronological record of your social activity on Facebook in its entirety. Think of it as a digital scrapbook. To some, this may seem less like a present than a burden. Exfoliate for Facebook allows you to cleanse your Facebook profile of any activity you choose prior to a specified date.
Timeline is not an optional upgrade. Love it or hate it, you will not be able to maintain the legacy look. While it’s opt-in at the moment, eventually everyone will be moved over to the new design. If you upgrade right now, you have 7 days to modify or tidy up your Timeline before publishing it to your profile page for all to see.
Photos, comments and status posts dating back to when you signed up with the site are now organized in a visual, ordered timeline. Ridiculous comments you made back in high school are still stored and now viewable. Photos you’ve untagged in the past are back. You can even see who has de-friended you and, inversely, who you’ve de-friended. Ex-girlfriends or ex-boyfriends make a reappearance, for better or worse. The list could go on; I’m sure you won’t have to think too far back to identify something you don’t want resurfaced. While Timeline does allow you to adjust privacy settings and the visibility of activity, it’s more of a manual process. Expect a rather tedious game of preening your profile one slice of activity at a time. If this sounds like a considerable waste of time, Exfoliate offers a more efficient solution by allowing you to delete your digital trail en masse.
This app is currently available for Android users only, but has been rumored to come to iOS and PC soon. Simply login to your Facebook account within the app on your phone, specify a cut-off date, and Exfoliate can remove all wall posts, comments and likes prior to that date. It can even remove posts you made on your friends’ walls as well.
The process is quite time-consuming and, according to the developer, can take many hours or days to complete, primarily because of Facebook’s API and throttling restrictions. If you’re a particularly prolific Facebook user and have been for some time, it could take even longer. On certain devices, apps and games achieve better performance on a Wi-Fi connection. Exfoliate is no exception and is recommended to be run over Wi-Fi. If the process is interrupted at any time, the app will resume normally once a data connection is re-established.
Backup Your Facebook Activity
Before using this app, you may wish to backup your activity for one reason or another, as once this data is gone, it’s gone permanently. By navigating to your Settings page, Facebook allows you to download an archive of all your messages, photos, videos and chat conversations by clicking the button at the bottom of the page.
Like it or not, Timeline is here to stay. For those who might consider permanently deactivating their Facebook account a better investment of their time than cleaning up their Timeline, Exfoliate offers a practical alternative.
Get the app here: Android Market Link
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