Facebook to Launch ‘Timeline’ for Brands This Month

According to the reports, the social-networking giant is to make its new Timeline format available for brands later this month.

Timeline allows users to display information in a much more visual format, one that reads like a newspaper. Photo: Digital Trends

As Ad Age reports, the scial network giant will announce the initiative at fMC conference for marketers in New York on Feb, 29.

Facebook will start in beta with a “handful of brands,” adds the site citing “executives briefed on Facebook’s plans.”

It will transform the social network’s experience from a fly-by bulletin board and events site to a scrapbook-esque, lifestreaming version of a social networked reality both past and present.

The Facebook Timeline was introduced at the f8 conference last September and since then it was slowly but surely being implemented.

Timeline was formally launched in mid-December. Facebook has done to avoid the unavoidable – user outrage – by cautiously rolling users over to the new profile format.

After the social network rolled out Timeline for all users, a site’s spokesperson revealed that brands were not part of that announcement.

“We are currently focused on Timeline for individuals and will consider how to make consistent experiences for Pages,” says a Facebook rep then, “but we have nothing to announce at this time.”

Facebook has never said that brands will definitely get Timeline pages. Instead, the company has merely hinted at it.

“Consistency in both functionality and appearance is really important to Facebook” a site said in September, “so we hope to make Pages more consistent with the new Timeline in the future.”

The popularity of Facebook’s social apps like Pinterest is rising, already making money off of affiliate links to certain brands’ websites, says Latest News Updates.

It only makes sense that more brands will create their own customized social apps for Facebook users. Open graph apps utilize data for ad targeting, which is integral to Facebook’s ad strategy moving forward.

So, what will Timeline for brands look like? The tabs or apps marketers that currently use Facebook pages to sell their products or take polls may turn into boxes on the brand’s Timeline, much like how apps for Spotify or Washington Post Social Reader live on users’ Timelines.

Other predict, brands will be able to develop their own apps using custom verbs other than “like,” in the same way as Pinterest, which has a Facebook app that tracks when its users have “pinned” something.

Promoting the use and development of “Open Graph” apps, which can have their data tapped for ad targeting, is an area of increased focus for Facebook.

One more question – will brands benefit from the innovation. On one hand, they will be no longer limited to content generated while running the Facebook brand page.

Administrators will be able to create new notes about events like their founding date, or when a CEO was hired. It also encourages business pages to use the platform’s Open Graph.

Open Graph is a way for business to drive user interaction and possibly monetize their goods online.

So, due to that, a brand becomes some sort of verb app and this benefits its owners 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 others were not satisfied for being unable to find posts or pictures their old profile had shown.

Timeline for users was sort of a learning experience and the kinks have since been worked out, writes Digital Trends. And we won’t know for sure till the launch of Timeline for brands in the end of February.

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