Facebook Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes: Timeline Recap from F8

As you probably already know, Facebook made some major announcements during their f8 developers summit in late September. The important question resulting from these announcements is, what does this mean for advertisers? I will personally wait until some of the dust settles to make any hasty judgements, however, one thing is for certain: Brands will have to work harder at creating better content and experiences to get impressions and value out of Facebook.

Here are a few bits of info cobbled together from the f8 conference for your reading enjoyment:

Facebook Timeline

At a high-level view, Timeline seems like an interesting new way for Facebook users to explore their own content. The most common comparison is that it is “an interactive scrap-book of your life.”

What does Facebook Timline look like?

“Wow, that’s a great way to make my Facebook more relevant to me” You might be saying. You’d be right. There are some really interesting opportunities for making ALL content (both from the friends and brands that you follow) more contextual, where only the most relevant updates are given the most coveted Facebook real estate. Everything else is relegated to the ‘Ticker.’ A continually updating iFrame that pulls in lesser updates, likes, and other small actions your friends are publishing in ‘real-time’.

Whose Timeline is it Anyway?

For those who regularly work on trying to get brands more visibility on Facebook, this changes the game slightly. Context and relevance will be determined by engagement and sharing. One positive change is that from now on, Facebook users will not only ‘Like’ your content, but they can also ‘Watch’ it, or ‘Read’ it, or [noun] ANY [verb]. This is called “GESTURES”. That means that the simple act of participating in what we produce is now inherently a social thing.

Take for example, Washington Post’s Social Reader, launched yesterday in conjunction with the new FB rollouts. Social Reader allows users to share recommendations simply by reading. Be careful what you read, though, because it WILL share everything.

What else does it do? It displays content based on past articles you’ve read, and compares your listed interests (as well as your friends’ interests) to display contextual stories and articles it deems relevant to you.

What are your thoughts on Timeline? Do you think it will provide an advantage for brands advertising on Facebook?