Again? Facebook Is Pondering More Timeline Changes

At least MySpace never did a redesign (at least when it mattered)!

But on the heels of a massive and disruptive overhaul that ushered in Timeline, there are now rumblings of even more Facebook changes ahead.  Which could mean more unexpected scrambling for artists, labels, and app providers.

Right now, Facebook is only pointing to a ‘small change’ in the works, while declining to discuss how broad initial tests (and ultimate distribution) will be.  And, the artist app providers we’ve talked to aren’t quite sure what’s next.  In other words, this is a completely uncertain forecast that could potentially include significant adjustments with little-to-no lead-time, no matter how minor they appear to the outside world.

Here’s a look at some of the changes, as first unearthed by TPM journalist Carl Franzen.  Notice the shifts in how top-level information is presented (on the top of the large image), and perhaps more importantly, the disappearance of smaller, ‘cube’ images that direct users to deeper tabs.

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Compare that to the current version.

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A few problems immediately pop out.  For example, the disappearance of the image stamps associated with ‘Friends,’ ‘Photos,’ ‘Map,’ and other deeper areas.  Meaning, not only has Facebook dictated that artist app pages cannot be default landing pages, they are now minimizing the chances of that app page getting noticed in the first place.  Which could ultimately nullify Timeline retoolings like this one, from ReverbNation.

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No big deal?  At the very least, this is a headache for players like ReverbNation, BandPage, BandRx, and Nimbit, though perhaps it all depends on your perspective.  We talked to Nimbit vice president of Marketing Carl Jacobson on the matter, who largely anticipated cosmetic changes – and beyond that, was applying Zen calm to the matter.  “To your specific point about the tabs being switched to a menu bar, we’re not overly concerned about that,” Jacobson told Digital Music News.  “This is similar to being able to define a default landing page, which was great while it lasted, but not something you can reliably pin your strategy on.”

“What we rely on Facebook to continue doing is what it’s designed to do, connect you to your friends to have shared experiences.  In our specific domain, that means turning friends onto the music and artists you love.”


6 Responses

  1. S

    MySpace DID redesign its pages while it was relevant. It actually accelerated its downfall.

  2. @herdfm

    I hope this isn’t going to happen… Why does Facebook make such drastic changes?

  3. Phil Antoniades

    Facebook is a business and needs to make money one day…soon. Timeline is brilliant! Just like mashing up Spotify and creating a new paradigm for music discovery amongst friends, Timeline will go through a lot of tweaking before it’s “just right.” Facebook is going to give things and take them away, as they experiment on how to make social networking a sustainable business. (JUST LIKE HOW WE ARE ALL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO MAKE A SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS OUT OF MUSIC!!!!!)

    FB is grooming their platform to encourage businesses/artists to nurture their peeps through communication and interaction. As a business, Facebook’s challenge is to get you to use their platform to provide content that keeps more eyeballs on the screens as well as provide a valuable place for you to advertise in order to sell something to those fans or target likely buyers beyond your social reach.

    Apps are a pain in the ass for Facebook. It’s obvious they don’t want to suck up bandwidth serving up everyones content. Music apps are even more troublesome because they open up Facebook to all sorts of streaming and copyright liablities. So expect Apps to become less important and music Apps to become very controlled!

    These are smart, really smart people. They know that simply gouging folks ins’t going to work. I believe they are working towards making the most out of social networking and making their platform have the highest return for your advertising dollar. So use FB for what it excells at; a wonderful lead generator, an easy way to maintain communication and an easy way to advertise. Use it to send your fans to your website to buy direct or get more info.

    We love having a storefront application where fans can buy directly from the artist on Facebook. But what is most important is how those fans get to the store in the first place. As long as Facebook keeps making social networking relevant and effective marketing channel, we’ll make sure there is a place to drive those fans to buy.

    Phil, drummer/co-founder

  4. @heatherbadower

    Pages lose impact without photos, but the overall look is improving.