Facebook Timeline could mean a lot of things for many but for me it means that Facebook is taking a step to ensure that every person on Facebook has a Personalized Web Page that they can show off. It is moving the common user from a simple single wall to a real home. From the early days when making a Website used to be rocket science and companies and geeks minted money on it the simple website business has become more common man’s arena. With blogging platforms to simple web builders anyone who is computer savvy can put his or her picture and a bio page and you are ready. But the problem comes when keeping it up to date and getting people to Visit. Facebook Timeline in my opinion is changing all that for the average Facebook user.
Facebook as your Personal Homepage
For active Facebook users when you switch to the Facebook Timeline you end up with a lot like a personal website with a changeable Header Image. Neatly aligned posts, photos, links and Notes that you can make featured to give more prominence and even decide what is private, selective or public, the timeline is like a personal homepage in the Facebook Community.
Now with the features like subscription and your ability to hide and show what needs to be public, what you have is a powerful tool to reflect your identity online. If you have 500 friends; now you have a homepage that pushes data to 500 people and through your interactions you can promote it much better.
Some would say that this is not exactly a website and you are within the Facebook community and that the traffic is not yours but that of Facebook. May be but not many would care that (at-least the majority of Facebook users who are not really traffic chasers) . But many people automatically now have a home page that gets updated as a default of being an active user of Facebook. That is kind of cool keeping in mind that though you have the Facebook Page option many people don’t think they have reached the celebrity status to have a page of themselves. A Facebook Timeline with 100 friends looks cooler than a Facebook Page with 5 likes or fans.
The inertia to change
The inertia to change is man’s twin brother who got lost in the delivery ward but keeps visiting whenever he has to make a change. While Facebook Timeline unraveled a while back I still see that many people are still in the classic looks. I also read a recent comment who said that Facebook Timeline is a one way route and you won’t be able to come back to your classic looks.
While I agree that not all changes are taken well in social media often you don’t really have to come back. Imagine the switch people did from Orkut to Facebook. I was terrified at the complexity in Facebook initially till the same complexity became so simple and Orkut looked like a Dinosaur and an ugly one among them. But I found that some of my friends remained there. Interestingly some literally dead guy sent me a friend request to join Orkut a month ago. How lame can that be…
So the point is embrace the change earlier than later and if you really want to analyze why I feel Facebook is important, it is about how your wall is being transformed ‘From a simple Wall to a real homepage’
Using Facebook as a Blogging Platform
Who Knows maybe FB is even thinking of changing the business of blogging by using the name ‘Note’ instead of Blog. Though this is quite far from being real, there is a strong potential to build the features around the Note and how it gets displayed. There is a possibility that Notes in future might bid to displace some of the traditional blogging platforms. Though I still blog on my personal blog and dont foresee changing, I am actively seeing people using the Notes as a prominent blog voice. I might also look at Notes as a potential additional blogging avenue.
Future Integrations have so much possibilities
Once the Wall transforms to a Home through the Facebook Timeline so will many tools that integrate with it. If I were to create a note from my various posts and comments I got would’t it be a totally new experience.
If I were to be able to create targeted content from my history of posts that would be too good assuming that my friends as well as myself would have forgotten many things I shared or commented on. Imagine users promoting themselves and others including companies and products through a Timeline model experience
I think Timeline is much more than what we see because it will gives you much more than what you have now and if you are a serious Facebook user, you will enhance the experience of your reader and people will start visiting your homepage (Not a Wall Anymore) rather than wait for updates in their news feed.