If you were to ask the average Facebook user why Facebook handily beat out Myspace and took over the throne almost instantly, the user might simply say, "Because it isn't Myspace." There was a distrust of that social networking site, as well as many others out there, due to the messy construction of templates, the many Facebook ads circulating, and the sense that nothing was ever really yours. It wasn't a very personable space.
Of course, advertisers loved Myspace. But advertisers love any popular social site that grants them exposure to such a large audience. Advertisers now flock to Facebook in droves. But is Facebook doing everything it can for advertisers?
Due to the new Timeline feature, a lot of advertisers feel slighted. They feel as if the site has cancelled them out in many areas. Is this true, or is this just an overreaction from some advertisers out there?
Benefits of Timeline
To understand how Timeline benefits everyone, you have to understand how users browse the internet. To catch someone's attention effortlessly, it helps to play to their line of sight. In other words, if you can put something in someone's face, they don't have to actually look for it. This wasn't Zuckerberg's full intent, but it was the end result.
The biggest benefit of Timeline is that users can now find ads in their line of sight. There may be fewer ads to see, but the ads that are seen are clicked on at a higher rate.
Another huge benefit of Timeline is that Experian quickly got busy and released their second version of Alchemy, a program that allows advertisers to produce and release ads effortlessly. Advertisers can create their ads, hone them, tweak them, track them, and much more, all from one platform.
The clean, efficient look Timeline gives Facebook is extremely beneficial to advertisers, especially those advertisers using social context in their ads. Their ads are able to seamlessly integrate into the page, coming across much more like a personal feature from a user and not an ad from a business.
Drawbacks of Timeline
Where there are benefits, there are also drawbacks. It's the ebb and flow of life. So, first and foremost, you have to realize that fewer ads are going to be displayed with Timeline, and this means that there's a real focus on quality. For advertisers, this means more time spent creating an ad and possibly more money spent in the process.
To really get noticed and to keep up with the competition, Timeline has basically forced everyone's hand in terms of buying sponsorship and playing to social context. While doing these things are in a business's best interests regardless, it is still a drawback for advertisers who weren't doing it previously.
Overall, something like Timeline was bound to happen. And before you advertisers begin to get set in the new ways, you need to realize that something like this is bound to happen again. You always need to be in a position to adapt and change. A failure to do so will result in lost production and possibly even a failed business venture.
Craig Robinson is the chief editor at Qwaya.
On Twitter? Follow Craig at @Craig_Qwaya and iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.
"Timeline concept" image via Shutterstock.