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Timeline for Business Pages and the Open Graph: Are You Ready?
By: Christine Geraci
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Sally pinned to a board on Pinterest. John played the word "CHANGE" in Words With Friends. Amy is listening to "Cherish" by Madonna on Spotify. 
 
Whether you realize it or not, Facebook's Open Graph is taking over. And its reach will only intensify when, according to the word on the street, Timeline for Facebook business pages is announced at the end of the month.
 
What is the Open Graph?
"Open Graph" is the term Facebook uses to describe its method of helping people connect through their real-time online actions. Before, the Open Graph basically consisted of one action: "Liking" people, places, organizations, and things. 
 
It's much more diverse now. Here's an example of the Open Graph at work: You see in your news feed or ticker that your friend, Sally, pinned to a board on Pinterest. You happen to like the pin. So you like or comment on the Facebook post. 
 
But let's be real, here. The Open Graph is a euphemism. It is designed to help Facebook gather highly valuable insights about what people like to do, when they like to do it, and why.
 
Yet, people are, and will continue to be, drawn to this new method of sharing. 
 
So what does this mean for business pages?
A lot, actually. Being able to create and utilize custom Timeline apps means businesses can offer their page fans a whole new level of interaction with their brand or cause. Because you have the power to customize Timeline apps with the verb of your choice, you'll be able to let your fans tell their friends that they just "bought" one of your products, or "signed" one of your petitions, or "donated" to one of your causes. 
 
Further, business pages will be able to more dynamically tell their stories through striking cover photos and compelling Timeline content. Word is the new Timeline format for business pages might also include the ability to send page fans private messages.
 
No matter how you slice it, your Facebook business page — not to mention your strategy for keeping it beneficial to your business or organization — is going to get a serious makeover. How are you preparing?


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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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