So Timeline has been officially on us now for coming on for a week, although many of us have been using it for a bit longer since it first launched back at the beginning of March.

As the dust settles lets take a look at some first impressions.

As a side note, I feel rather bad as there are no graphics in this post at all!  I may get round to changing that, or if you know any fantastic info graphic designer send them my way.  I would love to hear your thoughts and impressions as well, so do please comment when you have had a chance to read this post.

My main disappointment is that the default landing tab for a page has now disappeared so you can only get people to visit your default tabs by clicking on one of your app buttons, linking directly to the custom tab from elsewhere and through adverts driven directly to the custom tab.

I have enjoyed looking back through the timelines of some of the brands that I follow like Coca Cola which goes back to the 19th Century and Nokia which goes back to the early 20th Century.

I rather like the new cover photograph, although an interesting report by Simple Usability who did a lot of eye tracking on pages seems to think that cover images aren’t all that important.  The view was that people tended to bypass them thinking of them really as just extended advertising space, despite the rather strong rules on cover images as to what is allowed and what isn’t. (Essentially anything that makes this appear as a marketing space  is not allowed!)

Other key findings were with my thoughts in brackets:

  • Your company and its history is interesting (which goes along with my enjoyment of reading far back into companies timelines!)
  • Timeline has to remain current and can cause confusion (This has always really been the case in that your facebook page has to remain active.)
  • Users take notice of friend interactions with a brand. (I rather like this, its quite neat to see what your friends are thinking etc.)
  • Pinned Posts aren’t obviously different.(This isnt overly surprising, a pinned post is just a mechanism to get people to read what you think is most important.)
  • Users aren’t interacting with apps, yet.(This is something that is slightly concerning, as the app seems to be the best way to get people to opt in to your lists etc. The pinned post is a good place to encourage more interaction with your app.)
In conclusion they state that it is clear that the average user doesn’t yet understand the new layout or currently interact with it as intended.  Additionally getting a like has become much harder.
Another report from Simply Measured had a much more positive spin on the new timeline.  Stating the following:-
  • An overall increase of 14% in Fan engagement
  • A 46% increase in content engagement
  • A 65% increase in interactive content engagement (Video and Photo).
However their sample was significantly smaller with just 15 pages and it seems to me as though this could have been skewed.
The team at EdgeRank Checker did a much larger survey of over 3,500 pages on how Timeline affects engagement and found that engagement seems to have dropped generally, however they did say that this had little to do with the timeline, as timeline has little impact on the newsfeed which is where the vast majority of Engagement takes place.
So what do you think, and what have you noticed with your pages?