Way back in December of last year (an eternity in Social Media Network time) Facebook announced that a new timeline design was coming. Mashable broke the story here, and apparently New Zealand got to play guinea pig before the rest of us. Yeah, New Zealand always gets the good stuff first.
Facebook introduced the 'new and improved' version of timeline, coming soon to your profile. Mine just showed up today. I know several people who have had it for some time. But if you haven't yet been admitted through the velvet ropes to the new layout, I will detail some of the significant changes.
Now that you've seen my new timeline above, let's talk about the major changes. The 'tabs' are back and the tiles are out - see the toolbar right under your name with Timeline, About, Friends, Photos? Their behavior may remind you of the infamous 'tabs' from the previous layout. The two column layout holds everything that you post to Facebook on the right side with, you guessed it, bigger photos.
The left column now holds your About, Friends, Photos, Places, Music, TV shows, Books, Games etc. each in their own little modules. If you have connected Instagram and Pinterest to your Facebook account they will show up here too. Hook up your Pinterest account to Facebook and everything you pin will appear in that box and in your timeline. You can customize who sees what, so if you're a hard core Instagramer/Pinner, you can limit your distribution of sepia toned cat pictures to those who are interested.
The new "Edit sections" part is interesting because you can arrange the order in which the left column modules load. Would you prefer to show off your Instagram photos over your Pins? To access, just rollover the top right side of any of the modules to get a little edit button. Click and you'll get this box.
If you really hate the new layout (and of course, true to Facebook tradition, everyone will for a couple months and then adapt and forget) you can add a plugin to your browser and revert it to a single column layout. I'm sticking with the new one, it's lean and clean. Hard to gauge the zeitgeist on this one, but I've seen plenty of whining. Remember Facebook's philosophy- "Move fast and break things."
Final thought--I am pretty sure these changes foreshadow big News Feed changes that are afoot. Get your name on that waiting list here. Let's see if we can beat New Zealand this time.