After a few months in private trials, Facebook launched its Timeline feature to the masses on Thursday. In a nutshell, it lets you view people's photos and status updates from days long past instead of just showing you what they've done or posted most recently. Basically, it's the Facebook equivalent of being forced to look through your friends' childhood scrapbooks.

Intrigued? Here's what you need to know before taking the plunge.

First off, you're the only one who can see it on your own profile right now. Facebook's giving everyone seven days to review what they want posted to the new scrapbook-like format, so if you see something you'd rather not share, click the pencil icon in the upper right-hand corner of any item and select “Hide from Timeline.” You can also choose which friend groups can see certain items. (To learn more about the various privacy tweaks you can make to your timeline, take a look at Facebook's blog post about them.)

If you decide you're ready to make your timeline public ahead of the seven-day deadline, you can go ahead and publish it. Otherwise, it'll automatically go public this time next week.

Now that we've dealt with the nitty-gritty of privacy concerns, let's move on to the fun side of things.

The new timeline uses two photos for your profile -- one is a large banner across the top, and the other is a smaller, inset photo. Of course you can always go with that lovely panoramic shot you took at the Louvre for your banner and a respectable headshot for the inset, but some creative folks out there have already figured out ways to make the combination a lot more interesting (and amusing). You'll see an example of that below.

If you've used the timeline, we'd love to know what you think about it. Is it yet another Facebook overhaul you could've lived without? Or will it make the site more fun for you?

For more on Timeline, watch Facebook's intro video below.

[via BuzzFeed and The Washington Post]