Tuesday night while on Facebook, I noticed my Timeline looked different. Facebook had touched up the info/nav bar, removing the app buttons and replacing them with drop-down menus and links. They also shifted the name and friend button to the Cover Image. The update also organized all self-published content to the left of the Timeline and app activity/account information to the right, something Facebook had been hinting at for awhile. (Although my layout was still 50/50 split, rather than the 1/3 split that other websites are reporting.
The new layout is certainly less visual, with the omission of the app buttons, but it does add a sense of simplicity. It takes away the small About Me section as well and gives no description or information about the profile/person.
This update includes a new standard Facebook App, "Books," highlighting books that you want to read, books that you have read, and books that you like.
The main Timeline isn't the only thing that has changed, though; the "About" and "Friends" app/tabs have new layouts and are organized in a much cleaner and more streamlined way. The Friends section also highlights colleagues, friends from your hometown, friends from high school, friends from college, mutual friends, and even suggested friends.
One aspect removed from the About page is the "History by Year" section, which I actually liked. Life Events tend to be underused by the average user, so omitting this section does make some sense.
I'm not 100% about their rollout method for this new update, but like the original Facebook Timeline release, it seems that developers who create apps are first to get this update, i.e. developer preivew.
After getting the new layout, I cleaned up my Facebook account a little, organized my news feed, lists, went through apps, permissions, privacy settings, et cetera. I also deleted some apps that I created on the developer platform. Soon after, I went back to my Timeline and realized that it was back to the original layout.
Back when Timeline was first released in 2011, developers who created apps got pre-release use of the new Timeline, so I thought that maybe I got the preview of this update because I had created apps in the past, and now that I had deleted them, it reverted me back to the original Timeline.
I created another app and voila, I got the updated Timeline layout again. So it seems like developers with apps have a priority over getting the update.
Update: Early Thursday morning, it reverted back to the original even with the newly created apps (although the "Books" section is still on the Timeline.) So what's this all mean? Is it still just in beta and there are just hiccups in the system? Or is this just a new layout that they're testing and decided to withdraw?