When Facebook introduced the Timeline for pages slightly more than two weeks ago, it created a lot of buzz all around and it appeared brands will gladly adopt the new more visual profile appearance. However, today it appears that most brands don’t storm on the Timeline so fast…
I wanted to examine how many of the top Facebook pages have already switched to the Timeline until today and before Facebook is automatically forcing all pages to switch on March 30th. In order to do so, I’ve visited all the top Facebook pages (with most “Likes”) according to the independent Facebook data tracking service, PageData.
I discovered that until today (March 15th) only 11 out of the top 30 most “Liked” Facebook pages already migrated to the Timeline profile willingly. Those pages are: Facebook, Rihanna, Shakira, Family Guy, Coca-Cola, Linkin Park, South Park, AKON, Beyonce, MTV and David Guetta.
It seems that most of the top brands still feels uncertain about the effectiveness of the Timeline profile while they prefer to remain with their old landing app of their choice, which isn’t negotiable when switching to the Timeline. But maybe they have a good reason to be suspicious…
When I have looked up into the top Facebook early adopters Timeline pages fan growth, I revealed that the Timeline actually delivers weaker performances than before. For example, Here is Shakira’s PageData Facebook page fan growth graph:
You can see very clearly on the graph that since February 28th (when the page switched to Timeline), there is an obvious decline in the fan growth (“Likes”). However, to be more accurate I have calculated the average daily fan growth before and after the page switched to Timeline.
In the week before switching to Timeline Shakira’s page had an average daily fan growth rate of 65.97K fans. After switching to Timeline, Shakira’s page had an average daily fan growth rate of 53.41K fans. This is a decline of 19%! It is worth mentioning that fan growth has dropped even more later on.
But why relying on Shakira’s page data? Let’s take Facebook own page (which is the most “Liked” page) and examine it! Here is Facebook’s PageData own page fan growth graph:
Facebook own page shows similar drop after switching to Timeline- During the week before it had an average daily fan growth rate of 98.9K fans. During the week after it had an average daily fan growth rate of 75.64K fans. This is a fall of 23.5%, a bit more than Shakira’s page.
Obviously I can’t determine decisively that the Timeline is less effective yet. It just launched and users probably may need more time to get used it. Also, brands are yet to fully understand how to organize it properly with all the new features and the Timeline apps. However, this is certainly something that worth following…
Update (4/1/2012): Read another study saying that the Timeline actually drives more engagement.