Facebook Timelines For The Apartment Industry

Perhaps you’ve been avidly watching Facebook’s recent developments, or perhaps this is news – but either way brace yourselves: Facebook has already changed dramatically for developers and will soon do the same for user profiles and company fan pages. What’s up next? Facebook Timelines!

As a picture is worth a thousand words, let’s start there:

Facebook Timeline Cover Photo, Profile Re-Arrangement

(please click the image for a bigger size and less compression!)

This is the new Facebook ‘cover image’ (the huge one of my dog, Leroy) along with a smaller ‘profile picture’ which automatically imports from your current profile picture. As you can see, instead of left side tabs now your ‘Friends’, ‘Photos’, ‘Map’, and ‘Likes’ are buttons on top. Also important are the dates on the top right – they are clickable links that help you go directly to different periods on your timeline.

Next Up: Status Update Change and Life Event Icons

Status updates work much as before and can be found directly below the cover image and profile picture. Not the tiny, unfamiliar icons to the right of the familiar Facebook functions. It turns out these are here to help you retroactively fill in your timeline so it more accurately reflects a natural progression of your life’s events. In this way, Facebook Timeline becomes much like a scrapbook for helping you cobble together your memories, pictures, friendships, and life events. Each icon opens a drop-down menu to a series of suggestions and then an open ended entry link, as shown below:

Activity Listed In A Two-Column Format, Persistent ‘Ticker’ and Chat Availability Window On Right

(please click the image for a bigger size and less compression!)

Your ‘up to the minute’ activity ticker remains on the right, as in the new Facebook page design, and so does your chat availability. Your status updates, link shares, friends’ comments, and other information you upload to Facebook appears in a two-column format with endless scrolling capability (back until the day you were born). It’s all there- depending on how much information you personally choose to share. Facebook has also seriously upgraded/improved its privacy settings to help keep personal stuff on tight lock down!

When will this be available for your personal and fan page?

You can already activate your timeline if you are willing to go through about an 8-step process intended for developers. There is a great step-by-step guide at Mashable here. Not interested in becoming a Facebook developer but want to know when Timeline will be available for the general public to opt-in?  Mashable has the answer to this too:  Stefan Parker, Facebook UI Engineer on Quora, said “We are aiming to start letting users opt into Timeline in the next two to four weeks. There is no set date though.”

What does Facebook timeline mean for Multifamily?

As the ever prescient Brent Williams over at MFInsiders observed, “…the new Timeline… is a beautiful creation that shows the entire history of a user…  Whereas posts before tended to get lost after a few days, the new timeline encourages users to fill out their entire life on Facebook…(and) any post by your fans have a much longer lifespan.  But the posts that show up on the timeline don’t tend to be posts your fans made on your page, but rather status updates, pictures, videos, etc on their own profile, as well as app-related posts.  Therefore, if a fan posts something on your page, the long-term benefit won’t change, BUT if a fan posts a picture of one of your resident events on their profile, that picture will show forever in a pretty powerful way.”

Have questions or want clarifications? We’d love to hear from you – here or on our Facebook page!

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