The Real Meaning of the Facebook Timeline – Are Display Ads Dead?

This is a guest post from Doug Thomas. It is part of The 2nd annual “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest. Last week, Facebook rolled a significant update live, introducing an amalgamated News Feed and a new feature: the Ticker. Taking on the role of Recent News stream, the Ticker is where Edge Rank and Graph Rank, a similar concept introduced in the f8 keynote speech later in the week. Also introduced was the Timeline, the new way to view your profile. While Timeline seems to be a purely design-based change, it is clear that it has lasting effects on the future of Facebook Display Ads. Note the differences between the new (left) and old (right) sidebars. Where will the “You and Your Friend” box go? This gives Page owners and app creators a one-stop area to give users social proof for their product. Without it, especially in a prominent position in the sidebar, connections may be initially thought of as diminished. However, it’s likely that this information will go somewhere else that can’t be shown in the demo Facebook provided. Even more social proof has been removed in the ads by not displaying Likes in ads. This will likely drive down clickthrough rate, removing the value of “Social Clicks” in the Facebook Ads interface. White space hasn’t been diminished, but width of the ad space has by about one...

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