Have you seen or played with the new Facebook Timeline? If you haven’t here is a sample.
Pretty different from your current Facebook profile, isn’t it? And it ironically looks like a iGoogle page, don’t you think?
Last week at the annual F8 conference in San Francisco, the Facebook team unveiled the major changes we had been hearing about for the last couple of months. It comes very timely with Google + threatening Facebook’s monopoly on social networking and also at a time when Facebook needs to develop a deeper level of engagement with its 750 million users. On this one we can say that Facebook is literally re inventing itself staying true to its mission statement: “to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected”. From now on, it’s all about discovering content from your friends.
The Facebook wall is dead. Long live the Timeline.
I won’t go into too much details about how will use Timeline but in summary Mark Zuckerberg proudly presented it as “all your stories, all your apps and a new way to express who you are” (You can watch the full video presentation below). What I want to focus on is what it means for advertisers and marketers. To me, there are a few changes that will get us to re think deeply the way we use Facebook for brands:
– Levels: multiple levels of importance and distribution is given to the users to publish their activity on Timeline, which of course impacts the time/ place their connections can access the information. That’s where it’s important for brands to understand where/ when/ how their info will be displayed. A Facebook strategy must be different for a financial institution, which sits it at one en of the privacy scale than with media & entertainment brands which are naturally social (and given priority in the release).
– Patterns and permission: Until now, things were relatively easy. On Facebook, you could pretty much Like & share, right? Well, from now on, users will be able to express real things like: read, watch, eat, run…. Facebook will give its users the opportunity to set the level of importance once for all for any interactions they have with brands. Facebook is then going to analyze patterns in the long run on what information to push to users…. Sounds a lot like the Google algorithm that spits out the most accurate search result!
– Cross platform: Facebooking will be seamless across web- mobile- tablet… opening up opportunities for real time interaction TV, radio & print!
Although the applications of the new Timeline and open graph are still very blurry, my initual thoughts revolve around the 3 points below:
– Social currency becomes more relevant than ever!
– Think long term utility rather than campaign based promotion (eg: Netflix, Ticketek)
– Embrace transmedia story telling
Everyone is on the same boat waiting to get more details on the roll out, so please join in and share your thoughts and any information you have had access to so far!