Three Things You Need to Know About the Facebook Timeline

In late 2011, Facebook announced the newest change in their ever evolving layout – the Timeline. They are now rolling out the new feature for millions of users as it becomes mandatory for all personal accounts. It is only a matter of time before the timeline becomes an essential component of the social network not only for personal users but businesses as well. Here are three things you need to know about the new layout and how it will affect your use of Facebook.

Customizable, Photo-Centric Layout

The new layout in the Facebook Timeline offers space for a fully customizable 840×310 header and a lot more images than the old profiles and pages. Instead of a boat load of text with images supplementing it, the new format can be strictly visual with text supplementing those images. The goal is to give visitors what they want and that is images.

Your conversations will ultimately shift from straight value to a more show and discuss style conversation. People will visit your Page to see what you’re doing as much as read about it.

Less Wow and More Hmmm

The current strategy to get maximum exposure for a post on Facebook is to blast something big and amazing and awe inspiring to your fan list and hope as many of them click through as possible. With the timeline, it is easier than ever for fans to find old things you posted weeks or even months ago. It’s like having an instant greatest-hits list on the social network and it allows you to focus on producing great content instead of just grabbing eyeballs.

The goal doesn’t change – you still need to engage your fans in a two way conversation about your brand – but the method of starting that conversation is absolutely changing.

Open Graph Matters

Open graph applications were already one of the best ways to get ahead of your competition on Facebook. With the Timeline rollout, open graph is becoming even more important as the new layout strives to integrate more visual content and data from its users into the way the news feed is displayed.

If your brand already uses Open Graph in applications on your website, for comments, likes or anything else you are currently using, it will be a big advantage when Facebook switches you over to a timeline.

For now, you will use the traditional Page format for your brand, but in time, as the timeline feature rolls out to more users, you can start taking advantage of its deep history, visual emphasis and content-focused delivery system.