Facebook Unveils Timeline for Pages

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After whispers and rumors for months on the subject, Facebook has finally rolled out redesigned “Timeline” layouts for brand and business Pages. The same layout debuted earlier in the year for private users and boasts a spectrum of new advertiser-friendly features geared towards managing influence and attracting attention.

The change isn’t automatic, nor is it required – for now. Page administrators have the option to convert to the new design until March 30, when all pages will be rolled over to the new layout. This gives advertisers and brand managers time to feel out the new feature list and conduct some much-needed housekeeping before presenting their new face to the Web.

In a continued effort to build bridges with the business community, Facebook released the new interfaces with early partners like the Today Show, Starbucks, Microsoft Windows, Coca-Cola, Manchester United,The New York Times, Magnolia Cupcakes and Nike – a strategic gamut of business types no doubt intended to show off the flexibility of the slick new designs for businesses.

New Features Will Fuel Brand Interaction

Among the new features, we’re celebrating ones like the banishment of simple reverse chronology – now,Page admins can pin the most important news pieces to the top of their pages for users to see right away. More control over the Facebook space will be a great boon to advertisers in the future who don’t want their highlights to get buried in the deck but can’t afford to go through long periods of minimal activity.

Facebook is also stepping up the social influence factor – if a user in your circle of friends tags a Page, that content will be visible on the Page to you and other users to whom the content creator is connected, provided that the Page allows user-generated content. Admins have the option of openly allowing, disallowing, or moderating incoming content.

Among other features, a new administration panel will include activity notifications, performance data, and the ability to respond directly to private messages.

Use Timeline to Tell Your Brand’s Story – and to Share It

Ian Schafer, CEO of Deep Focus, told Mashable that the content control aspect is an advantage for businesses, but that there may be an initial drop off in engagement as brands begin to re-think Facebook as a destination rather than a distribution channel. According to Schafer, that’s a huge mistake. “Timeline is a highly engaging content channel, but one where the content is meant to travel,” he told Mashable. “You don’t want people to spend too much time on the Page, as opposed to sharing it.”

The Timeline creates a more social atmosphere for Facebook Pages, but advertisers and administrators will have to do some spring cleaning to go through the company history, mark milestones, and evolve the story of your brand.

The new design demands more acute supervision from Page administrators
as well, and more and more businesses with a powerful presence on Facebook are handing off their Facebook management to specialized firms who can more easily negotiate the intricate features the new interface provides.

Are You Ready to Leverage the Power of Facebook’s Timeline for Your Business?

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