Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Brands to Have a Timeline Too

By Eve Hemsley

Whether you’re a fan of Facebook’s new Timeline style or not, it appears to be here to stay. As Facebook phases out personal profiles in the now ‘old’ look they are moving on to offer the new format to businesses who host Facebook brand pages.

Facebook first announced the new Timeline format at its F8 conference in September 2011. The new layout was a drastic change from what users were previously familiar with, instituting a new picture heavy, scrapbook-like format creating a collage of users’ ‘lives’ on the network. Facebook has since move forward in slowly implementing the new design for its over 800 million users.

When working in PR with clients whose companies are greatly entrenched in social media, changes to a social media giant like Facebook make you wonder, how will this affect my client? I’m sure many PR pros and CEOs wondered how their brand pages were going to look, questioning whether the new format will apply to their page as well.

It seems the world will soon get its answer. It is being hinted at that Zuckerberg and the Facebook crew will discuss the expansion of the Timeline to brand pages at their first ever fMC event for marketers on February 29th. An article by Ad Age sites that executives briefed on the company’s plans have reported that, “new pages for brands will start in beta with a handful of partners, and then be released to more marketers in stages."

The article also speculates as to what the brand pages will look like: “the tabs or apps marketers currently host on their Facebook pages to sell products or take polls may turn into boxes on the brand's Timeline…The format change could put the onus on brands to develop their own apps using custom verbs other than ‘like,’ in the same vein as Pinterest, which has a Facebook app that tracks when its users have ‘pinned’ something.”

It is also thought that brand pages will have the ability to populate their Timeline with events that occurred outside of its presence on Facebook. For example, Coca-Cola could add the year it was founded (1892) as an event on its timeline.

It seems all will be revealed at next week’s fMC conference where Zuckerberg and his team plan to discuss details of the upcoming format change and how they plan to go about the switch.

Eve Hemsley is an Associate Account Executive at Maroon PR.  Contact her at Eve@MaroonPR.com.

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