Last night in New York, Facebook hosted a mixer for press and the designers of Timeline, Facebook’s highly anticipated new profile face lift.Between spicy meatball appetizers and a couple of gin and tonics, I found out a bit more about Timeline.
What we’d previously heard was that Timeline was supposed to launch October 26th.
Almost three weeks later, Timeline still isn’t here, but there’s a good reason it isn’t.
I spoke with Joe Flynn, lead designer for Facebook’s mobile Timeline interface. He said Timeline is launching “soon,” but not until it’s completely finished.
We chatted about “beta culture,” and about how the last thing Facebook wants is to launch a new feature prematurely. Timeline is such a big step forward for Facebook that it won’t be launched until it’s perfected.
But just wait until you see Timeline in action on a touch screen device. It’s so good it will make you want to skip the desktop experience and just use Facebook on your iPhone. Timeline is built to be manipulated on a touch screen.
Swiping through the years of your life is effortless, and Flynn even showed me a slick new feature that lets you take pictures “in line” inside your Timeline. In this way, you can see exactly how the pictures will look once they’re posted.
The picture above is from Facebook’s F8 conference, and a bit has changed since then. Flynn showed me a build of the app that’s still in progress, but it looked nearly finished.
One thing that’s new is the intermingling of horizontally scrollable modules like “Interests.” The entire profile has been revamped for swiping, sliding, and tapping.
This is the way it always should’ve been on touch screen devices. Every piece of the new interface feels intentional, from the collapsible Years section of your Timeline to the new “Cover” photos that adorn the top of your profile page.
Flynn also told me about the process behind creating Timeline. It has been in the works for about a year, he said, but the seeds of Timeline have been floating around the office for a while.
“Do we do the timeline horizontally or vertically?” Flynn said. The design team underwent dozens of trials to figure out exactly how Timeline would work best.
Lance Ulanoff at Mashable got a few minutes with Sam Lessin, Product Manager on Timeline. Ulanoff’s post is definitely worth a read if you want to learn more.