Facebook’s change to the Timeline profile has created much speculation that Pages will be next. On February 15th, Facebook executives confirmed there are changes ahead that will affect everyone. They plan to add Timeline for Pages this month. No one can predict the subsequent changes this will have for brands and third-party platforms.
In the midst of Facebook’s IPO and a business reliant on 3rd party applications it makes sense that the people in charge are looking for ways create deeper engagement with Facebook applications.
Facebook, developers and businesses
Facebook chose to create an open platform that created opportunities for third-party developers to add their creations to the Facebook platform. Obviously they care about their relationships with developers and businesses as they could have built a closed, static platform and lock every Page to the same features. They’re pushing the industry forward and leading the charge for innovation and progression of the digital world. Applications that increase a brand’s presence, provide content, contests and promotions have empowered businesses and developers to gather user data, generate sales, leads, customer support and much more.
Businesses have put their Facebook Pages at the forefront of other media promotions and Facebook ads, which shows the priority and the money they’re invested in their Facebook channels. According to February 2012 data from Kenshoo, Facebook ad budgets grew 109% month-over-month in the fourth quarter of 2011. A very strong argument is that Facebook’s traffic is contributed to third-party services and Facebook has expressed value and profit those services bring to the Facebook platform.
Even Facebook has recognized this truth in it’s recent S-1 filing.
We generate a substantial majority of our revenue from advertising. The loss of advertisers, or reduction in spending by advertisers with Facebook, could seriously harm our business.
This change will certainly not be the last significant change in Facebook’s future but the good news is that the move to Timeline will give businesses and brands more than just an “Info tab.” Facebook’s actions to-date lead us to believe that they respect a brand’s presence on Facebook and would want to keep opportunities for further methods of engagement.
How to prepare for Timeline changes on Pages
No one outside of Facebook knows exactly what Facebook is going to do next until they make official announcements. Many will probably be made Feb. 29 at the first-ever fMC event.
However, it’s important to remember that Facebook won’t make a change without notifying the public. They have a 90-day notification policy which is designed to give third-party platforms time to learn the changes and figure out how to adjust their services.
Businesses need to keep in mind that the keys to Facebook are engagement and consistency. No matter the structure or design these two core elements will remain. Yes, there will be much press and a lot of hype about this change but you’d do best to ignore the rumors though it will be hard.
Facebook must evolve and it’s in their best interest to expand upon current user experience. Much like Apple, Facebook must lead the market and guide us users down a path that will enhance our lives.