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A Modern Approach to the Facebook Timeline

I like this idea … a lot.

Modern Timeline

If you’re like Sarah and I, you love the Wednesday night antics of ABC’s hit series, Modern Family.  Maybe we like it because our family, in a sense, is anything but traditional. At any rate, it’s damn good comedy.

When I saw that Modern Family had set up a Facebook page for the show, I couldn’t resist clicking through to see what it’s all about. The first thing I landed on was this update, sharing a customized (and mind you, custom sized) branded image that Facebook junkies everywhere can adorn as their cover photo on the new Facebook Timeline layout.

While the consumer-driven verdict is undoubtedly out as to whether or not Timeline is a good move or not, I thought this was a neat approach from ABC to generate awareness for the show by tapping the advocates inside of their fan base. Sure, the 5 million and change fan count is a bit skewed. Always remember that anything popular on television will have a built-in social fan base from the get go.

What appeals to me most about ABC’s approach is that this cost virtually nothing to produce. Chances are that the folks at ABC have graphic designers on staff to do their bidding.

Your Turn

Could you make something like this work for your business?  Just how would you pull it off?

  • Jason Keath

    I wonder if Facebook is going to crack down on this. They specifically warn against using promotional images or anything with copyright, advertising, etc as the cover image for a personal profile. Seems impossible to enforce. And frankly a stupid rule if you are giving people this huge image space and want businesses to be more invested in the site, but nevertheless it is their stated rules. 

    Here is the exact text from facebook: 
    “This space is not meant for banner ads or other promotions. Please don’t use content that is commercial, promotional, copyright-infringing or already in use on other people’s covers”

    • nateriggs

      I agree with you — I don’t think they have the personell to police all of this, and likewise, the lines between what a user can put on their personal image and what’s deemed an “advertisement” is very blurry. For instance, if the user has no affiliation with ABC or is not being compensated and places the image on their own accord, is it even considering advertising at all?

      I think the lack of enforcement could also be attributed to the blurry lines … especially since ABC is a big enough ax to grind. 

    • Anonymous

      Good point, @jasonkeath:disqus Along those lines, who’s to say what’s promotional vs what’s someone just showing their fandom? If I love a certain brand and want to display their logo all over my profile, that’s no different than if I’m a Yankee fan and want to plaster my obsession on my page. Is it only promotional if the brand encourages such promotion? Seems nearly impossible to enforce …

      Back in the day, I remember “wallpaper” for PCs or cell phones was a big deal. Brands provided downloadable images. Perhaps cover photos are the next iteration of that concept?

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  • nateriggs

    @heatherwhaling:disqus – hit the head on the nail. This is not a new thing, and I question as to why Facebook would want to even prohibit it in the TOC.  Then again, they can monazite profiles that essentially become ads.

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