Facebook made the timeline available to all Facebook users today. Naturally, businesses are already wondering when they can take advantage of the feature, and if they will in fact be able to do so, for that matter.
From the sound of it, brands can expect to get their own version of the Facebook Timeline sooner or later. When that will actually happen remains a mystery, but a Facebook representative is quoted as saying:
“We are currently focused on Timeline for individuals and will consider how to make consistent experiences for Pages, but we have nothing to announce at this time.”
Like people, brands have ups and downs, and are probably going to want to review what is actually on these timelines very carefully, once they actually do come out (assuming that they do). It sounds like social media managers at companies could have their work cut out for them.
Obviously some companies will have bigger tasks with brand timelines than others, depending how long they’ve been around, should they choose to utilize the feature to its full potential. Keep in mind that for users, you can update the timeline as far back as your birth. I assume that for brands, they’ll be able to do so for as long as the brand has existed, and some brands have been around a really long time.
Take the New York Times, for example. It’s been around since the mid 1800’s. Imagine how rich and extensive their Facebook timeline could be. Brand timelines, for those companies who choose to utilize them to their full potential could provide limitless information and knowledge about brands in a way that we just haven’t really seen in the past.
Sure, they’re going to be PR-friendly. Brands will be in control, so you’re not necessarily going to get the really juicy stuff, although the ballsy brands will embrace the bad with the good and show some authenticity.
If you think about it, brand timelines could really change the landscape of what social media marketing looks like. If this were some standalone product out there from some unknown startup, I probably wouldn’t be so quick to make such a proclamation, but this is Facebook we’re talking about. 800 million users strong. Most brands already have Pages. Just as it is likely to do for users, the Timeline could change the game for brands.
Update: In the meantime, it looks like brands are already finding ways to get some use out of Timelines.