The New Facebook Timeline: A Tool in Response to HIV


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Download MP3 Facebook TimelineIt’s estimated that 96% of Facebook users never revisit fan pages1 once they hit the “like” button. We at hope this changes with the new features of the Facebook timeline for Facebook Pages.

Three months ago, Facebook Exit Disclaimer announced that Facebook Page owners had a month to update their profiles to the new timeline format Exit Disclaimer. Brands could enable the new timeline at anytime, and on March 30 brand pages were automatically converted to the timeline.

Some of the Facebook timeline features include:

  • a cover photo, a larger photo spanning the top of the page
  • right-hand timeline navigation
  • milestones and events
  • featured apps and customization
  • highlighted posts
  • more administrative options and direct messages

With this announcement, we did a lot of planning to figure out how to best use our page given the new timeline format. Since joined Facebook in November 2007, Facebook has been a successful social network for us, where we’ve seen dialogue among our 15,000 followers (and growing) blossom. Our new media team discussed the vision for our page and how to continue to engage and reach users with blog posts and other federal HIV/AIDS updates.

We started by looking at what other brands were doing with their timelines and planned what our options were for each new feature. We decided to utilize the timeline to feature not just a history of, but of the AIDS epidemic in the U.S. since 1981. Using the new milestone feature, we repurposed content from our 30 Years of AIDS Timeline, and added new media milestones such as the launch of the blog and our first tweet. Other timeline examples in the HIV community include Chat PDX Exit Disclaimer, POZ Magazine Exit Disclaimer, The Well Project Exit Disclaimer, Greater Than AIDS Exit Disclaimer, and The Red Pump Project Exit Disclaimer who are using their pages to link to external content and other social network spaces.

Since converting our Facebook page to the new timeline format at the end of March, users continue to engage on our page and our follower base continues to increase. We hope the new page offers a unique educational opportunity where users spend more time exploring and sharing feedback. We’re excited to continue engaging our audiences through highlighted/featured wall posts, especially around HIV/AIDS awareness days and AIDS 2012 this summer.

We encourage you to visit the Facebook page Exit Disclaimer and the fan pages of the groups listed above to get ideas for modifying your Facebook page. Check in with your users and find out what changes they would like to see. Please check out our Facebook Page to go back in time (to 1981) to explore the history of HIV/AIDS in the U.S.

Are you a follower? Exit Disclaimer If you already are, take the time to revisit Exit Disclaimer our page. If not, we encourage you to like Exit Disclaimer our page if you haven’t already.

1. Jeff Widman, Exit Disclaimer