Brands invade Facebook Timeline with new wave of apps

Brands like Nike, Vevo and Fandango now have a new way to integrate into Facebook Timeline. At an event hosted by Facebook in Austin at the South by Southwest festival on Monday, big and small brands mingled and demoed the new wave of Timeline apps.
According to product manager Austin Haugen, since opening up the Timeline platform this January over 3,000 Timeline apps have been launched, and their implementation has generated huge growth for brands. Two examples that Haugen gave were Pinterest (whose daily active user base has grown by 60 percent since launching its Timeline app) and Goodreads (which has increased daily traffic by 77 percent).
App makers were frequently asked by event attendees “What’s your verb?” — referring to the word defining the app’s updates on Facebook, from “Watch” to “Read” to “Listen,” that group the updates according to category. For apps like the fashion-focused Pose or epicurist Foodspotting, updates link users back to the original sites for in-depth details about the food or fashion being shared.
The potential for Timeline apps is just being discovered by many of the brands. For example, Fandango’s current implementation just allows users to share their movie-watching decisions, but representatives said that future iterations could include the ability to coordinate film-going with friends.
The Onion‘s Timeline app, just launched yesterday, updates the user’s profile with the articles they’ve read and videos they’ve watched, and also now includes The Onion’s “Our Dumb Readers” feature. “Our Dumb Readers” feature highlights what content individual friends are consuming at the top of the site, and also allows users to curate the Onion home page to show just the stories and videos being consumed by their friends.
But while the name of the Timeline app game might be sharing, many of the apps, including¬†Fandango and Vevo, also enable users to turn off the sharing function, which will be important for those users who perhaps don’t want to broadcast how many times they’ve watched the same Taylor Swift video.