Facebook to Announce Release of Timeline for Fan Pages

Well, jump for joy and shout, “Hallelujah!” – rumor has it that Facebook plans to announce they are rolling out Timeline for Facebook fans pages later this month in the U.S. at their marketing conference in New York City on February 29.

While Timeline has met both adulation and hatred among the masses of Facebook users since its inception, it looks like Timeline is here to stay.

Facebook rolled out the new feature in late 2011 as a new way “to tell the story of your life” to the adulation of hipsters and horror of mid-4o’s cougars around the world trying to keep how long their “timeline” was around (if you get my drift!) from adorers.

Facebook Timeline PageFacebook’s Timeline is very photo-driven and features a large cover photo image at the top of profile pages, a smaller avatar shaped profile picture at the bottom of that cover photo, as well as more real estate for Facebook advertising.  With Timeline brought a whole new way we view photos in photos albums, and advertising there as well.

We all know that the general public is resistant to change, so once you switch (or are switched over automatically by Facebook) to Timeline you are given a 7-day review period where you can delete any content on your profile and hide what you don’t want displayed.

While industry insiders insist the new Facebook Timeline for fan pages will not be a carbon copy of those for individuals, they do say it will be photo heavy and consistent with the Timeline feel.  It is rumored that the tabs or apps marketers currently have on their pages to sell products or take polls may turn into boxes on the brand’s Timeline – as many other sites like Spotify and Washington Post Social Reader live are doing now – on Facebook fan page Timelines.

So, what does this mean for you?

It means more real estate to show what your company, product or service is about.  We are suggesting to our clients to think about what they want to convey on their Timeline and create a custom Timeline photo that conveys the feel of their brand.  Personally, we never liked the feel of the “5 picture header” that fan pages has touted for a while now…showing photos that your company was tagged in and more.  It looked messy and did not convey an overall look to any brand.

Facebook Featured Article on TimelineWe are hoping that the new scrapbook-like picture-heavy Timeline will be a good thing for our clients – allowing us to have “featured articles” like the ones that are currently allowed on personal pages.  This would enable our clients to highlight certain events, products, and photos they would like the world to see.  (And, wouldn’t it be awesome if we could tie those into Facebook advertising?  Hmmm….just call me Dr. Evil!)

We also hope that the new Timeline will allow brands to develop their own apps using custom verbs other than “like” similar to how Pintrest has done that allows brands to track when users have “liked” or “pinned” something.  Another interesting thing is the concept of the page “beginning” when the brand did – not when that brand joined Facebook.  For larger companies like McDonalds, Zappos, Nike and Coca Cola this could be huge.  (Not to mention for small to mid-sized businesses too!)

So, yes, it looks like Facebook Timeline is here to stay.  Instead of shaking our fists and screaming at the sky, “Whyyyyyyy?!” let’s embrace this and remember that we used to think MySpace was pretty cool 5 years ago too.  With progression comes change and that change brings growth.  Thanks, Facebook, for keeping us growing and evolving!

Now, I’ve gotta get back to a Ninja development meeting – we’re trying to figure out how to integrate Ninjas, Jon Bon Jovi, and amazing marketing all into one cover photo for our new fan page Timeline…