Rumors have been swirling around the Internet for months that one day the newest feature on Facebook, Timeline, would become mandatory,, and it appears the date has been set for May 21, just three days after the company is slated to go public.
On Monday, some of the remaining Facebook users who haven't converted to the Timeline feature received a message on top of their pages, informing that the mandatory rollout would take place next week.
Welcome to Your Timeline - Preview, the message read. Right now, only you can see your timeline. This gives you a chance to: 1. Review what's on your timeline now, and add or hide whatever you want. 2. Click Publish Now or wait until your timeline goes live on May 21. Learn more.
Facebook did not publicly announce the mandatory rollout on Monday for the following week.
But this is not the first round of users to have received messages about Timeline becoming mandatory. At the end of January, the mandatory switch date was set for February after a blog post circulated on Jan. 24.
Over the next few weeks, everyone will get timeline, the post read. When you get timeline, you'll have 7 days to preview what's there now. This gives you a chance to add or hide whatever you want before anyone else sees it.
The post pointed out that a user can sign up for Timeline or wait until you see an announcement at the top of your profile.
For those who hadn't transitioned over in February, more reports emerged in late March that the feature would become mandatory on March 30, according to ConnectTristates.com.
However, for those who have been holding out, it appears May 21 is the doomsday for old Facebook, requiring users to switch to the new format. Users are getting a seven-day grace period to construct their pages to look and include information that they choose before their pages go live for the public to see.
You'll have 7 days to preview your timeline before other people can see it, the Facebook blog reads. You can use this time to add a cover, fill in life events, and star important stories. After 7 days, your timeline will be published automatically. Or, you can choose to publish your timeline at any time by clicking the Publish Now button at the top of your timeline.
During the grace period, Facebook noted, users will continue to see profiles in the old Facebook format and vice versa.
Facebook recently rolled out similar changes for its brand pages, requiring the mandatory switch to Timeline on March 30. All Pages, consuming businesses, public figures and groups, transitioned to Timeline before noon PST.
Facebook describes Timeline as your collection of the photos, stories, and experiences that tell your story and the feature cannot be reversed. The feature was first rolled out on Dec. 15.
News of the mandatory switch date comes just days before Facebook goes public, with an expected IPO on Friday for the highest initial public offering ever recorded at $96 billion. Last week, Zuckerberg went on his roadshow to the IPO of Facebook, angering many Wall Street bankers by donning his signature hoodie. Shares are expected to range from $28 to $35 on the Nasdaq.