Facebook Timeline: The Good And The Bad

If you’ve paid attention to Facebook lately, then you already know about Timeline. If you haven’t switched over when prompted, you will be automatically switched very shortly. This mandatory Facebook update is complete and ready to be instituted across the entire platform.

Bringing a new visual design, a new ad layout, and more features, Timeline is something that, according to Facebook, should benefit both users and advertisers. But is it really all it’s cracked up to be? Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of Facebook’s new Timeline feature to see if it’s really worth all the fuss or if it’s just another monkey-wrench in your advertising program.

The good

Perhaps the biggest positive going for advertisers is that Timeline displays ads and other materials directly in a user’s line of site. Going straight down the middle of the page, it’s going to be difficult for a user to miss what’s offered. There are fewer bits of information off to the side and on the top of the screen to contend with. Everything is literally in a row, working its way from the top of the page to the bottom.

Another huge positive working for Timeline is the fact that third-party companies have started to release new software to coincide with Facebook’s update, namely Alchemy and their efficient ad-creation and management tools. Easy ad creation and monitoring is a must when dealing with a social media campaign.

You also have the fact that Sponsored Stories plays very well with Timeline. Throw in the fact that social context receives a huge boost in integrity, with updates on anyone’s profile available for view across the entire network, and you have a powerful advertising tool that’s literally thrust in people’s faces as they browse their page.

There are also more customizable features with Timeline, not to mention better image options. You can narrow your campaign down better by selecting more advanced options; you have a user-friendly layout with tabs at the top of the page that are also customizable; and tabs, displaying your custom thumbnails, can be set to 520px or 810px.

The bad

With the good, of course, comes the bad. The biggest negative here is probably the fact that fewer ads are going to be visible. This is a negative only due to the quality-control that must be instituted by an advertiser. It’s going to require more thorough designing and testing, quicker turnaround, and a larger Facebook-centered campaign to attract people into the network.

Also, the welcome tabs are now gone with Timeline. This means a harder go at getting someone to “like” a page before entering said page, and that obviously forces an advertiser’s hand and causes them to either invest more capital in rebranding or working harder to drive leads via newsletters or other mediums.

By and large, Timeline is something that’s positive. It’s going to take some getting used to, and advertisers may have to pony up a little more money, but the ads are now much more respected and are receiving higher CTR, so everyone can benefit from this update.

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Since graduating from Leeds University in 1997, Eddie Yu has been involved in various Entrepreneurial activities throughout his career, and eventually having built up a part time business between 2001-2003, he went full time in 2004 with Lady Luck Media. Before then, he has worked for British Aerospace, FNX and Derivatech, where he consulted for top tier banks such as Bank of America, ABM Amro and Bank of China. Eddie firmly believes that with social entrepreneurship and technological advancements we can create a world without offices and impact climate change for the betterment of our planet.