But before we talk about Facebook evolving to encourage connection with strangers, or the effect that the Newsfeed’s replacement with Facebook Stream will have on user behaviour, we have important news for Marketers.
Every ‘brand’ page will be converted to a new ‘profile format’ on 11th March 2009.
Facebook will move brand pages away from the specific look of a marketing page, to look more like a ‘personal page’. This essentially means you will have far more freedom to interact with people interested in your brand, via real-time status updates, links and questions. Thus, allowing you to create closer and better real-time connections with your customers.
What do marketers need to do?
1. Check your page is being displayed as you’d like it look
2. Ensure your key messages are present on the main page
3. Regularly upload content of value if you don’t already
4. Don’t use it simply as a brochure page – be responsive
5. While you’re at it, check to see if your companies name is still available on Twitter as a Twitter handle, and if it is – get it now!
So what else? Everything will start getting faster as newsfeeds get replaced with real-time updates. So instead of updating every ten minutes, there will be more information flowing much faster…which means more user engagement. Make sure your brand is ready for it!
Why are they doing this? Facebook want more user engagement and they want Facebook to be the centre of one’s social life. They’ve seen how successful ‘real-time’ status updates from Twitter and Friendfeed have been in network building and generating user interaction, which may have been a cause of concern! The second reason is they want more users. They want to see a growth spurt.
Facebook was always designed to be a ‘walled garden’. However, the model that social networks have used in the past may fundamentally change by 2010 according to David Recordon of Orielly Radar – Facebook in 2010: no longer a walled garden. At present ‘Facebook Stream’ is a closed ecosystem and you are not exposed to different users but this may change soon, making Facebook one of the most open social networks on the web by the end of the year.
Mashable – Will Real-Time Change Facebook User Behavior?