Will Facebook’s Timeline Turn Out to Be a Goldmine for Marketers?

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Like the unpredictable weather or the follies of a local sports team, Facebook updates have become one of humanity’s favorite things to complain about. Generally speaking, people aren’t big fans of change, so when your cozy social media blanket looks and feels different, all hell breaks loose. Last week, Facebook unveiled its much-discussed and prematurely hated for no good reason Timeline. While regular folks are bemoaning the look and usability of Timeline, marketers are wondering what impact, if any, will the change have on social media marketing?

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has touted Timeline as a tool to share life experiences, while haters have labeled Timeline as the final death to online privacy. But what the heck is it, really? Timeline, according to ReadWriteWeb, “turns the profile into an illustrated browsable history of a user’s entire life, with major milestones and little moments smartly chosen by Facebook’s algorithm.” The look of Timeline is more graphic and less cluttered with Facebook’s blue and white branding. And that’s the good news. Facebook has need a facelift for some time and this new one will entice folks to spend even more time on the site. Also great is the user-controlled history that can be shared. Users have the ultimate say on what information is put on their timeline and when.

And that is also the bad news. Some Timeline critics claim that the app has the potential to take over-sharing of user information to new heights. There has been some concern that marketers will now have access to even more details on Facebook users lives, likes and loyalties.

The biggest negative we can see with Timeline, however, is that brand pages won’t have access to the new look. Social media marketing clients are now stuck using Facebook Pages and its ever-constrictive confines. Pages are become less about small businesses being able to spread the word about their companies and more about solicitation to advertise on Facebook.

But readers, you tell us what you think. Is Timeline a hit or a total miss? Let’s dish about it in the comments section below!

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