It’s no surprise by now that each time Facebook makes major changes to it’s layouts it affects brands and advertisers as much as the average user. Typically these changes don’t have a major effect on how we use Facebook but Timeline has prompted a major shift in how users are engaging with their favorite brands.
For the past few years we have used custom designed tabs on brand pages as a way to communicate other products, services and promotions that don’t fit into profile page structure. These tabs had had many forms (FBML, Static FBML, iFrames) and originally sat along side the “Wall” and “Photo” tabs that used to sit at the top of the page and profile.
Since the introduction of Timeline to Pages, custom Facebook Tabs have taken a back seat to Highlighted Posts, Sponsored Stories, and Pinned events. Some even seemed to disappear behind a little drop-down box off to the right in an attempt to streamline the overall look and feel of Facebook across brands. Because of these changes, overall Facebook engagement on custom tabs has dropped more than 53% since March 1st.
Its [probably] safe to say that most of the decrease engagement on these custom tabs can be attributed to brands not being able to set custom tabs as the default landing page. This makes it much harder for brands to direct new traffic to the additional information and promotions available on those tabs outside of direct links from other websites or ads. I would also like to compare the rate of “Likes” over the same time frame to see they have also slowed (or increased) as a result of the launch of Timeline.
So what does this mean? Brands and will have to work twice as hard to get the attention of their fans to visit these pages and we’ll probably see a shift from Facebook promotions on custom tabs move to another platform, within or outside of Facebook, that allows them to be reach a broader audience and capture new users.
What is your experience with Timeline? Has your page seen any negative effects of Timeline? Tell us in the comments.