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Facebook is opening up new ways fro brands to display on the social network API
While people with personal Facebook pages have been working with the Timeline layout for a few months already, Wednesday marked the first day that brand pages could start using and playing with the scrapbook-esque layout for their profiles.
This new way to express brand information and communication was launched by several large brands including Livestrong, Macy's, Starbucks and Florence + The Machine.
The Timeline layout allows brands to create a more visual and interactive layout for friends and followers to learn about new events, map where locations or tour dates are going and flip through albums of photos.
Major new features for the new types of pages include the ability to pin posts to the top of the feed for a whole week, as well as send and respond to private messages from users.
All brands with pages can upgrade to Timeline as of Wednesday or they can curate their posts and photos to test for a 30 day run before Timeline is forcibly pushed to them on March 30th.
ust two months ago, Twitter started rejiggering the brand pages and availability of new features for big spenders on its site so that the companies could have more flexibility in their layout and design.
While Twitter introduced a limited selection of brand pages in December, which 20+ companies got invitations to start, Feb.1 could mark the day that more companies roll out brand pages and new functions as long as they've already committed $25,000, according to AdAge.
Currently, the brand pages have been designated to the big global companies that already spend a lot of cash on advertising and promoted tweet on the site, such as Nike, Coca-Cola, Disney Pixar and HP.
These brand pages have allowed companies to customize the landing page for their central Twitter handle and feature certain content on the top of the page, while making other Twitter correspondences lower on the page -- so that no matter how often the company tweets (or people tweet at it) a video clip or promoted item will remain on the top of the page.
While the existing Page APIs will remain intact, Facebook has created a new admin panel and Activity Log lets Pages see a quick view of their Insights data, respond to inbound private messages, and feature, hide, or delete posts.
This change will be most beneficial for brands lengthy, detailed histories where they can add milestones and photos throughout the past.
This is the first time that the companies can coherently reference company events that preceded Facebook and add video, comments and other interactive elements that followers that learn from.
Marketers have reasons to be both excited by the story-telling but also could be upset because the current Timeline set-up reduces the prominence of apps which could hurt companies that have turned to gamification for more customer feedback and interaction.
Under the Timeline layout, pages can no longer display their custom applications as their default landing tab like they could prior. This was a powerful marketing feature where brands would introduce their company with access to an app that teased special content like contests or coupons.
Without the default landing tabs, users don't have to "like" a page in order to access some of the major content and marketers could lose the number of email signups, contest entries, and other key performance indicators.
But this all could change once Facebook gets sufficient feedback from brands on how to weave in the apps and gamification elements without sacrificing the Timeline aesthetic.
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