What Timeline For Facebook Pages Means For Third-Party Developers And Brands

By Guest Comment

Since Facebook began converting personal profiles to timelines, people have speculated about when pages will follow suit. Whether or not this begins happening at the end of the month, changes are imminent that will affect everyone.

Facebook could have created a closed, static platform that gave every page the same basic features.

Instead, the Facebook platform is open to creations from third-party developers, and this says a lot about its approach to its relationships with developers and businesses.

Will Page Timelines Include Tabs?

Custom tab applications allow businesses to create applets that encourage fans to interact with each other, help increase a brand’s presence, provide content, offer contests, and do promotions.

Companies also rely on custom tabs for gathering user data, generating sales and providing customer support.

Businesses also spend lots of money on Facebook ads to drive traffic to their custom tabs.

According to February 2012 data from Kenshoo, Facebook ad budgets grew 109 percent month-over-month in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Third-party services and applications have contributed to this growth and we expect that to continue.

The good news is that since the introduction of pages, the platform has always allowed for businesses and brands to offer more than just an information tab.

It would be a surprise to see Facebook get rid of these features.

No one knows exactly what Facebook is going to do next until there is an official announcement.

However, Facebook does have a 90-day notification policy for breaking changes to the platform, which will give third parties time to learn how to adjust their services to timeline.

Beware Of Rumors

What businesses need to keep in mind is that there is going to be a lot of hype and a lot of press around this change. Rumors will fly and the energy will be hard to ignore.

However, it’s in Facebook’s best interest to expand upon current capabilities, not limit the things everyone loves and relies on.

Facebook has gone through numerous overhauls in the past and businesses and third-party platforms have stayed ahead of the game and adjusted. This time shouldn’t be any different.

Guest writer Jim Belosic is the chief executive officer of ShortStack.

AllFacebook.com edited an image from Shutterstock.