Facebook Timelines on the way for brands
We’ve already seen the odd brand unofficially experiment with Facebook’s new Timelines, but they due to become available officially for brands very shortly.
Currently the new Facebook Timeline is only available for Facebook users and we have all seen the transformative effect that can have on a page. It has turned Facebook pages from message boards into picture centric social scrapbooks, which stream a user’s life, suggesting brands could so some very smart and distinctive things with these new pages.
We don’t know exactly what brands will get only what David Fischer, Facebook’s VP-global marketing solutions, said at f8 in September. At the time he said that Timeline pages for brands would be “consistent” with the look-and-feel that Facebook users experience, but they would not be an exact copy.
It is expected that Facebook will make the announcement about Timeline for brands at its first-ever fMC conference specifically for marketers on February 29 in New York.
As with Twitter’s rollout of enhanced profile pages, Facebook Timeline for brands will initially only be available to a select “handful of partners”. So we can expect Coca Cola, Starbucks and Nike, perhaps, to be at the front of that beta queue.
The speculation is that with Facebook social apps like Pinterest, which has a Facebook app tracking when users have pinned something, are on the rise and making money out of affiliate links we can expect to see more brands creating their own social apps for Facebook.
Ad Age speculates that we can expect to see that the tabs or apps marketers currently host on their Facebook pages, which they use to sell products or take polls, could turn into boxes on the brand’s Timeline in the same way as apps such as Spotify or Washington Post Social Reader.
Another interesting aspect to Timelines for brands will be to see how brands populate their pages as they add content dating back years to fill out the history of the brand. They will also be able to take advantages of gestures beyond “likes”, which could dramatically change the way users interact with brand pages.
The arrival of Facebook Timeline will also put Facebook inline with Twitter and Google+, which have already rolled out brand pages.