Facebook Timeline was released last month as an invitation for all of us to share our whole lives (including pre-Facebook lives) on Facebook. What Facebook wants you to include in your Timeline isn’t restricted to your newborn picture.
When you click on a point in the past on your Timeline, you have a number of options many of which are familiar. You can add a comment in the form of a status update to a point in your past, photo from your 1st grade class picnic or check into the dorm you lived in freshman year of college. These are all variations of the options that users are used to seeing when they create a normal present-day status update. However, there is one new option- “Life Event” that is very different than the rest.
Clicking the Life Event button brings up a list of events that are common to a lot of people’s life stories. Marking the day you had a baby, broke a bone, lost a loved one or changed your religious beliefs are just some of the options Facebook presents.
Social media is supposed to be about transparency and honesty. Although it seems people would be reluctant to share major illnesses they have had in the past, divorces long settled and weight gained or lost in reality this is what Facebook does best. In Timeline Facebook has created an even better space where we can feed the human need to connect and learn more about people we care about, though maybe not enough to actually call.
From a social media marketing point of view, “Life Event” could be a game changer.
Currently advertisers can target Facebook users for ads based on the basic information user’s provide as well as their likes and interests. If Facebook allows advertisers to display ads to users who have had certain life events, or even better- users who have had certain life events within a select time frame, this could be very exciting for brands.
Car insurance ads could be displayed to parents of children they had 16 years back on their timeline and orthopedic surgeons could target those who have broken a bone in the last few months. Ads could be even more highly targeted, which means higher click-through rates for advertisers and more revenue for Facebook.
Facebook has yet to allow advertisers to target users based on their life events, however if they do look for even more relevant Facebook ads coming to your Facebook profile.