Tuesday morning, Facebook announced on its blog that over the next few weeks, all Facebook users will need to start using the new Timeline profile, which first became available to app developers in September, users in New Zealand in early December, and finally, users world-wide by mid–December. But the decision to switch over from the “old” profile—which, we often forget, looks much different than it did only a few years ago—to the new profile was optional up until now, creating a divide between the Timeline enthusiasts and those who are less eager about the new change.
Although Facebook has always been about connecting, networking, and sharing photos and commentary with friends, the new Timeline uses the slogan “tell your story” to build a virtual narrative of your life, starting from birth and including major “life events” in relation to education, career, family and travel.
Not only can Timeline users essentially curate the text and images that appear in their “life story” by choosing which posts to hide or highlight, but they’re also able to customize their Timeline by choosing to add more than 60 different apps, which just became available last week, as Mashable reported.
With this new push for interaction through integration of apps from Pinterest to Foursquare to TripAdvisor, “no longer will Facebook user activities be defined by ‘likes’—and this is something that up until now every brand has worked toward achieving,” Technorati Media reported on Monday.
Brands still have some time to figure out how to shift their Facebook marketing strategies, however; brand pages currently don’t have access to the new Timeline profile. “We are currently focused on Timeline for individuals and will consider how to make consistent experiences for Pages,” a Facebook representative told Mashable in December, adding that “consistency and both functionally and appearance” are really important to the redesign of brand pages.
While brands will have to focus their Facebook efforts more towards driving engagement and interaction rather than measuring their number of “likes” or page views, experts like Patrick Toland, head of TBG’s North American operations, told Forbes that if and when the Timeline is enabled for brand pages, it will give them “an opportunity to strut their stuff in far more creative ways.”