Over the last couple of days, Facebook has begun rolling out their much anticipated (and dreaded among some) timeline. It’s the big change that’s been in the works at Facebook for months now. To see how it will visually change your page, check out their Timeline breakdown here. As you can see, things will look pretty drastically different, so you might want to prepare yourself now before the change hits in the coming days. (We all know how fussy Facebook users tend to get, myself included, when these changes occur.) So how will Timeline affect your user experience and/or your company’s Facebook page?
First off, on it will be much more visual. Your profile picture will expand across the top of the page, a far cry from the tiny box on the left. You’ll still be able to post status updates, “like” things and people, add photos, etc. All that is changing there is the look and feel of the experience. each aspect being sectioned off into its own area of the page. Think of it as an online scrapbook for your life.
Apps are another new addition in Timeline. Apps like Netflix and Spotify let you share with your friends what movies you’ve watched recently (via Netflix) or what songs you’re listening to (via Spotify). Of course, you have the option not to share these items as well. With new sharing features, Timeline will allow you to share posts with certain friends or hide posts from your Timeline altogether. Whether you’re a regular Facebook user or you’re just getting into it, I highly recommend doing a thorough review of their privacy features so you can customize your online experience to the level of sharing you are most comfortable with.
While Timeline is definitely coming to a personal profile near you, it is still unclear whether or not Facebook plans to add the new feature to business pages. If they do, however, the changes, while likely annoying at first for regular users, should be pretty awesome for business pages. The highly visual style of Timeline makes Facebook an even better place to position a brand. Also, it would give businesses a better sense of how to effectively use Facebook. For instance, according to Mashable.com, “Prior to Timeline, brands often felt confused as to how Facebook fit into their brand strategy and felt the need to have a gimmicky app or sampling incentive for people to “Like” or engage with their page. According to ExactTarget, of the people who “Like” Facebook brand pages, 40% are doing that to receive discounts and promotions. Now with the larger post size and photos, Timeline can easily serve as a brand blog, providing fans with frequent and engaging updates in a neatly packaged profile.”
This could be a huge advantage for brands, making a Facebook page even more valuable, providing that the company decides to let businesses in on the Timeline game – which they likely will, though maybe not at first.
So, are the changes that come with Timeline big? Visually, yes. Your profile WILL look very different than what you’re used to. But, all the old essentials will be there. If you’re anxious about the changes, I suggest taking charge of it and signing up for Timeline early, before it surprises you one morning. Visit this link and click on the Sign Me Up button at the bottom.