Facebook Puts on a New Face with Timeline and Ticker

Facebook is about to change and this time it’s not about a shake-up of your sidebar or a reshuffling of how things show up on your wall. This time, the change is big. It’s a whole new way to connect with the world and share the things that are important to you.

It’s about the timeline, the ticker and a whole new series of open graph apps. I spent the morning listening to Mark Zuckerberg present the new Facebook on a LiveStream from the f8 conference and here’s what I came away with.

TIMELINE

Timeline is one of two big, structural changes to Facebook. It’s meant to tell the story of your life by presenting everything you’ve done (and mentioned on Facebook) in chronological order. It really is a timeline – just like the ones they made you use in history class when you were in school.

AOL Adds E-Commerce to Project Devil

AOL’s Project Devil was supposed to be the key to the company’s future financial success but things haven’t gone as well as they’d hoped. Everyone likes the bold, interactive ad units but not everyone is in a position to fork over the kind of cash it takes to run one.

The big boys like Ford, Coca-Cola and Campbell’s are using the program, and AOL’s Tim Armstrong says that the response to the ads themselves has been good. He says folks stay on Project Devil ads almost four times longer than the industry average. In this case, time really is money, because longer engagement times usually result in conversions and better brand recognition.

Facebook Ad Revenue to Top 3.8 Billion in 2011

According to eMarketer, 2011 will be a banner year for Facebook with ad revenues rising 104% to 3.8 billion. And though this seems like an excellent achievement, it’s actually lower than the 4.05 they originally predicted at the start of the year.

Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer principal analyst would like to note that, “This slight revision downward for 2011 should not be taken as a sign that Facebook’s overall business is losing momentum.”

Because by 2013, they’re expecting Facebook to pull in 7.0 billion. I imagine no one over there is weeping over the balance sheet.

This ad portion only represents part of Facebook’s income. When you add in Facebook credits and other sources, the 2011 number climbs to double what it was last year.

Facebook Readies Read, Watch, Listen

There’s a new rumble in the jungle. Hear it? That’s the excitement building over a big change in Facebook. Rumor is that the social media giant will be announcing their plan at the f8 Developer Conference on Thursday, but All Things Digital has the scoop now.

It’s called “Read. Watch. Listen.” and it could be the biggest shift we’ve seen in Facebook in a long time.

The concept is all about content — video, music, books and movies. The New York Times says that Facebook’s new platform and partnership deals will allow users to share their favorite songs, TV shows and movies right from their profile pages.

Incentivized Advertising Raises Brand Awareness

When we were kids, the promise of a gold star or a sticker was all the incentive we needed to do our very best on a spelling test. As we grew, the incentives did too, a higher allowance for keeping your room clean, then a higher salary for doing a good job at work.

So it’s no wonder that consumers are willing to give a little more of themselves to a brand, as long as there’s a prize at the end.

SocialVibe and KN Dimestore recently conducted a survey to discover just how helpful incentives can be. They placed interactive ads on sites such as Causes.com and Pandora and on games like Farmville. Visitors were asked to play a branded game or take a survey and in return they’d receive an appropriate reward. For Farmville it was game credits, air-time without ads on Pandora and donations on Causes.com.

Netflix Apologizes Then Makes Matters Worse

“I messed up. I owe everyone an explanation.”

Two months ago, Netflix Co-Founder and CEO Reed Hastings, announced a major change to the pricing structure for Netflix members which included increased fees for anyone wanting to get DVDs in the mail and stream movies.The result was a lot of bad press as loyal fans cried foul loud enough to be heard. Memberships were canceled, stock prices dropped and Blockbuster could be heard laughing all the way to bankruptcy court.

Yesterday, Hastings tried to patch things up with a lengthy note of apology and an explanation of things to come.

Young Adults Exchange an Average of 87 Text Messages a Day

The next time you’re in a busy public place, stand still and watch the people who walk by. A large majority of them will either have their eyes down on a cell phone or they’ll appear to be talking to themselves (earbuds!).

It’s gotten so we can’t leave the house without our mobile phone charged and ready. And I know several teenagers who carry theirs from room to room so they never miss a text. Yes, a text, not a call. For the 18-29 set, texting is the ultimate form of communication.

New numbers from the Pew Internet and American Life Project show that 95% of young adults use the texting feature on their phones. On average, they send and receive 87.7 texts a day and the median user hits 40 a day. The median for all cell phone users is 10 a day.