Facebook Timeline Likely Coming to Business Pages Near You

    by Pamela Vaughan

    Date

    January 27, 2012 at 1:30 PM

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    Earlier this week, Facebook announced it will finally be rolling out Facebook Timeline to all users in the next few weeks, replacing the design of existing personal profile pages. While Timeline won't directly affect the look of your Facebook business page (yet), the rollout does have some powerful implications for marketers. You can read more about those implications here.

    Timeline Design Likely Coming to Facebook Business Pages

    But, notice how we said yet? That's right, while Facebook business pages aren't affected by the current Timeline rollout, we have good reason to believe that, in time, business pages will be clothed in a similar Timeline-esque design, too.

    In an article from Co.Create yesterday, Facebook VP of Global Marketing Solutions Carolyn Everson discusses how Facebook is seeking to better align users' personal and brand experiences:

    "The goal has always been to have your personal experience on Facebook not be so different than the brand or page experience. And right now, it is different. You have Timeline and you have a page-brand profile. So we are absolutely moving in the direction to sync those up. We believe that brands want to be able to curate how they’re represented in a more visually pleasing way, and we’re in the midst of trying to figure out how best to do that."

    The Status of Open Graph Applications and Brands

    According to Everson, Facebook is also in the early stages of bringing brands on board with Open Graph applications, emphasizing that the rollout of these branded apps has been slow so Facebook can ensure brands are building high quality application experiences for users. Facebook is encouraging brands and developers to build apps that fit and appeal to users' 'lifestyles.'

    Marketing Takeaway

    While Everson's remarks do make it sound highly likely that Facebook will eventually convert the business pages we currently use into a more Timeline-esque design that better aligns with the experience on personal profiles -- err, Timelines -- we can only speculate what future changes will mean for marketers. Or you can get a glimpse at Mashable's take on what the future Facebook business pages might look like in the mockups here and in the image above.

    The good news is that it sounds like brands will be able to achieve a more visually attractive and engaging experience for page visitors and implement a more curated and organized view of their page. For Facebook, this visual emphasis may help it compete with Google+, which is known for its ability to cater well to visual content.

    Futhermore, because Facebook is placing such a big emphasis on the impact Open Graph applications will have on Timeline, we might also assume that brands that create their own Open Graph applications will have a leg up on competitors who don't.

    Again, while we can only speculate about what's to come for marketers, the best advice we can share is to start getting comfortable with how the new Timeline design works for your own personal profile. Doing so will help you better understand how Timeline affects a user's overall Facebook experience and will enable you to be prepared for the changes for businesses on Facebook to come.

    What do you think about Facebook's new Timeline design? How do you think future changes to brand pages will impact your Facebook marketing strategy?

    Image Credit: Mockup for Mashable by Ryan Kennedy

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