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You Will Love Facebook Timeline for Brands—Or Else!


Facebook Timeline for brand pages is coming, and there’s not a thing you can do to stop it.

This transition to Timeline will create numerous hassles for all involved. We’ll all need new artwork, new strategies and a new history.  Yes, I said new history.  I’ll get to that later.

Facebook Timeline provides more room for visual displays.  The super-sized Timeline cover photo is only the most obvious example. Facebook will NOT allow those pictures to be used for advertising purposes. (I can’t wait to see how they are going to police that!) Photos will be displayed in larger formats and will thereby gain greater prominence.

Pages will now be split into two columns (which will already be familiar from profiles that have been converted to Timeline).  Personally, I find the wall bifurcation to be annoying.  My eyes dart back and forth; I’m never sure where I’m supposed to focus my attention.  As a consequence, I just don’t really take in everything that’s there.

Strategies will change as users learn what works and what doesn’t, but a few things seem clear:

  • Some observers think daily posting to keep the brand before its fans is called for.
  • Photos will be more important than ever.
  • Cover photos will need to be rotated to maintain a fresh look.
  • Without a landing page, marketers will have to make an extra effort to guide fans and potential fans to applications for contests, coupons, etc.  We may have to rely more on Facebook ads to get folks where we want them.  That couldn’t be Facebook’s plan, could it?
  • Links posted by fans are virtually buried. Not always a bad thing.

As for history, brands now have the capability to showcase their Facebook activity going back to January 1000.  Now brands will have to dredge up their historic milestones and post them on their Timeline.  Perhaps this is Mark Zuckerberg’s way of creating jobs for all his history major friends who can now be employed to scour the archives of Fortune 500 companies in search of engaging content from decades past.

So, all those who manage Facebook pages are gritting their teeth in anticipation of this transition and its aftermath.  The learning process will not be fun, but eventually we will all adjust to the new reality for brands on Facebook…probably just before Facebook unveils its next major “improvements” for us.

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Andrejs Penikis is social media manager for Stream Companies.


  1. Jeremy Pope · March 12, 2012

    Andre – thanks for the great article. I agree that the new format will create both a lot of confusion and also a lot of opportunity for everyone involved with managing Facebook pages. After reviewing a dozen or so pages that have already undergone the migration, I find the vertical scroll timeline to be unwieldy. For pages that attempt to warehouse a lot of information, the format will likely fly in the face of the ‘clickity-clickerson’ convention for which the web is so perfectly suited. Content is much more easily digested in small chunks divided between numerous hypertext links. The Facebook timeline does not appear to be embracing that construct and, in my opinion, will eventually suffer the same fate as google listings that appear outside the first ten natural search results. That means any material that requires scrolling vertically more than, say, 1500 – 2000 pixels will probably not be seen – not quite a glorious forecast for the ‘Timeline’ vision that must be circulating around the offices at Facebook.

  2. Craig Ternowchek · March 30, 2012

    According to this article on Tech Crunch ( the new timeline format has provided a lift to brand pages with less than 1 million likes. So while Facebook’s rollout and explanation for the changes may be less than ideal, the results seem to be positive so far.