Facebook introduces Timeline for Pages

By on February 29, 2012, 2:30 PM

Facebook has introduced their Timeline feature for businesses and brands after making the layout a mandatory update for personal profiles starting last month. Businesses are being encouraged to make the switch starting today but as was the case with personal profiles, it will become involuntary on March 30.

Timeline was announced at the Facebook f8 conference in September 2011 and like most new updates to the social network, it has been a topic of heated debate ever since. Proponents of the revised layout praise the large cover photo, dual column view and chronological timeline on the right side of the profile. Those against Timeline often say the layout is too confusing and reveals updates and photos from the past that could cast a negative shadow on who they are today.

Coincidentally, it’s some of those same ‘negative’ aspects of Timeline that could potentially be beneficial to businesses. A large cover photo could help capture the essence of a brand and showcase a product or service. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Furthermore, the timeline aspect helps to tell the story of a company. For example, Starbucks has updated their timeline with a photo of the first store that opened in Seattle’s Pike Place Market in 1971. The New York Times’ profile dates back to 1851 with a photo copy of the first paper they ever printed (which sold for one penny).

Several other brands have already made the switch to Timline including Windows, Ford Mustang, Ben & Jerry's and Magnolia Bakery.

User Comments: 10

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Guest said:

Wow facebook really is turning into a big pile of poop!

shamus087 said:

The minute my profile switches to the new layout, I'm deleting my facebook.

Google+ will be the only social website I use.

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

@shamus087 be ready to be part of the "Virtual Ghost Town" [link]

Guest said:

I wouldn't mind the update being mandatory as long as there is a way to go back -_-

Zilpha Zilpha said:

They are making this mandatory? I hate that layout - looks like I'm going to have to leave fakebook too now. I hate when companies force things like this.

davislane1 davislane1 said:

Closed my Facebook account over the weekend due in large part to this Timeline nonsense. I think I'll be sticking to Twitter and, perhaps in the future, G+.

However, I do see the marketing capability for businesses. Timeline is nearly perfect for advertising a brand, minus the poorly thought out two-column set up for posts. Unfortunately, mandating Timeline for regular users was a mistake that might eat into some of that newly developed utility.

RH00D RH00D said:

I love how people get all mad and say they'll delete their Facebook account as if Google doesn't force changes on it users. How about that new YouTube layout? How about the handful of forced UI changes they've made to their Google search engine over the years. Yeah, that's what I thought.

viperfl said:

Don't know why Techspot is saying Timeline is mandatory for personal accounts. So far it's only an option and you don't have to change it just yet. I get the box on my Facebook page giving me the option to change it, but I decline. Maybe sometime later Facebook will force me to use it, but so far not at the moment. I just looked at my Facebook account and it's still the same layout.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Timeline is god awful for me. Yet more "better" changes forced on the masses at gunpoint. What the hell the point is of giving people a choice of something they will eventually have no choice of *not* having anyway is, I don't know.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

mario said:

@shamus087 be ready to be part of the "Virtual Ghost Town" [link]

Last time I checked, the usability of a social network is evident when you get to share with the people in your life. The fact that people spend more time on Facebook than on Google+ is of little to no consequence to those who use Google+ and have most--if not all--their friends on it.

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