Monday, 5 March 2012

Facebook's Timeline

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

Facebook has launched their new timeline visual approach to their user profiles. Initially I was not taken with the new lay-out but I have since begun to like it. It is certainly a big change from the existing profile lay-out. The lay-out of old seems to be so bland and boring now.

A nice feature on the timeline is the cover. This graphic is like the book cover to your profile and is a nice big space to show a picture of whatever you want compared to the small profile picture we have had for so long. It is still good to see the profile picture has remained but does take on a slightly less important role now.

The rest of the page is divided into two main columns by a dividing line, representing the passing of time, hence the timeline look and feel. This allows to include milestones or life events and you can record your life’s history easier than ever before.

All those links you used to have on the left hand side of the page have not disappeared they are just displayed elsewhere. There are now a couple of tabs displayed just under the cover picture. These tabs can be expanded by clicking on the little down arrow on the right hand side. What this means is that only three tabs will be displayed at any given time. This gives a bit more life to your profile as the tabs rotate through.

If you have a post that you wish to make more prominent you can select the post and highlight it. This will make your post appear across the entire page and give it more presence.  Also posts that have more comments / shares get a bigger portion of the page. It is a nice way of seeing at a glance which post got the most action.

The timeline is now available to those who have Facebook pages for their businesses or other reasons. The mandatory cutover date is 30 March 2012 to the timeline for pages. The timeline for pages will affect businesses in a big way.

Business will be able to place more branding images on the page now, think of a big Coca-Cola image on the cover picture and the bottle of Coke as the profile picture. Businesses will be able to make use of the milestones feature by way of promotions, specials, product launches. The will be able to build the brand better and engage with customers.

The ability for a page admin to take a message and turn it into a private messaging session with a customer will allow far deeper communication than ever before. Marketers will need to re-think their strategy on which tabs display above the ‘fold’ as this will be the first thing customers will see when landing on the business page.

It should all make for some interesting changes in the way we see people’s lives and businesses unfold in real time. Let me know what you think of the new Facebook timeline on my facebook page TechNOBLEgyIT.



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