The Facebook Timeline, introduced last fall at the f8 conference, is still slowly but surely being implemented. Facebook has done its very best to avoid the unavoidable – user outrage – by cautiously rolling users over to the new profile format. Which is–just to emphasize this once again–a necessary step to avoid massive blow-back. There have been plenty of questions and concerns along the way, including what’s going to happen with brand and business pages?
According to AdAge, Facebook executives say brands will be getting the Timeline treatment this month. While the idea – heavy visuals with a chronological format – will not be identical to users’ profiles. Still, apps will appear on their Timelines similarly, i.e. in boxes displaying activity in respect to timing.
So is this in the brands and businesses favor or not? On one hand, there’s room for creativity: you’re no longer limited to content you’ve generated while running the Facebook brand page. Administrators can use the feature to add events like their founding date, or when a CEO was hired. It also encourages business pages to use the platform’s Open Graph. Facebook is becoming a marketplace, and it’s in its favor to promote companies by using this mechanism. The Open Graph and new class of verb apps are a way for business to drive user interaction and possibly monetize their goods online. Your brand becomes some sort of verb app (Timeline apps and regular apps are different… although many of their privileges appear to be overlapping) and this benefits you by opening the door for e-commerce as well as Facebook, by populating its app catalog and promoting their “Connect with Facebook” plugin.
But what does it mean for those with custom-built brands or business pages? While the user rollover was simple for some (and gave us all a week to run down the changes and hide what we didn’t want displayed), others complained about not being able to find posts or pictures their old profile had shown. Hopefully the user Timeline implementation was something of a learning experience and the kinks have since been worked out. We won’t know for sure until February 29, when Facebook holds its first ever fMC conference, a one-day Facebook marketing event.