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Facebook finally rolls out Timeline feature... but only in NZ

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Kiwis are the guinea pigs for Facebook's Timeline feature, which the company announced in September with a lot of fanfare, but is now cautiously rolling out to users of the site.

New Zealanders are the first to see Timeline show up in their Facebook accounts.

We're guessing that means at least one million people in that country, where the current population stands at around 4.4 million, will be playing with the feature.

As is typical of Facebook, the company didn't announce the roll-out in a separate blog post. Instead it updated the one published on 22 September that first mentioned Timeline.

In the autumn, developers were given access to a beta of Timeline to allow them to build apps for the feature. Facebook said that more than one million coders had signed up for the test version.

"The feedback we've received so far has been invaluable," the social media company said. "Starting today, we are making Timeline more widely available as we measure speed and other types of performance. We'll begin by making it available to people in New Zealand and then roll it out more broadly in the near future."

Observers have recently questioned why it has taken the Mark Zuckerberg-run company so long to debut Timeline, after heavily trailing it at Facebook's f8 event in September this year.

"Frictionless sharing", as Zuck likes to call it, is supposedly the future for his social network. The idea being that users have a much more beefy record of their life as chronicled on Facebook.

But given the latest privacy brouhaha, whereby the Federal Trade Commission's preliminary conclusion was to order Facebook to submit to bi-annual audits for the next 20 years, perhaps the company is treading more carefully with Timeline.

Or, it's possible that the feature hasn't been as well received by developers as Facebook might have hoped. If true, a staggered rollout makes sense as it would be easier to altogether yank Timeline from a small testbed, rather than messily take it away from 800 million users all at once.

It's important to note that Facebook originally said back in September: "Timeline won't be available for a few weeks."

That was almost 11 weeks ago, and as of today only New Zeland users and a few select media partners have Timeline showing up in their Facebook accounts... ®

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