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Facebook Timeline Changed the Way We See Brand Pages; Here’s How
Автор: M. Bruk   
30.04.2012 00:00

When Facebook launched Timeline for brands last month, it wasn’t just marketers’ social media strategies that got turned upside down.

The new format also changed the way consumers experience brands on Facebook.

In a webcam eye-tracking study for Mashable by EyeTrackShop, participants spent less time looking at Wall posts and ads and more time looking at the cover photo on brands’ timelines than they did on their old Facebook Walls.

“The new Facebook Timeline limits the effective branding space, and the top portion of the page must be effectively utilized,” suggest the study’s authors.

SEE ALSO: Here’s How People Look at Your Facebook Profile — Literally

EyeTrackShop recorded eye movements of 30 participants as they were shown brand profiles — before and after being converted to timeline — from the Dallas Cowboys, Good Morning America, “The Muppets” and Pepsi in 10-second intervals. What participants looked at on each webpage, for how long and in what order is recorded in the images below.

Results suggests a few ways our perception of Brands on Facebook has changed:

  • Ads on Facebook Timeline are less visible than ads on Facebook Brand Pages. While 30%-40% of study participants looked at ads on brand Timeline pages, 80% looked at them on Brand Pages. In both cases, ads placed higher up on the page fared better than those below them.
  • Cover photos are the new Facebook Wall (at least as far as attention goes). On brand pages, Wall posts were the star attraction. Viewers on average looked at them first and for the longest amount of time.

    On the brand Timelines, however, viewers always looked at the cover photo first. In all but one case, they spent a longer time looking at it than at Timeline content.

  • Everyone will notice your cover photo. It’s larger than anything else and at the top of the page for a reason, and 100% of viewers looked at it. On average, they saw it in 0.5 seconds or less. Meanwhile, only 65% to 92% of viewers noticed profile photos on Brand Pages.
  • Viewers see Timeline content last. In every case, viewers looked at either the left or right column of Timeline content last — after ads, navigation buttons and brand logos.
  • Information that was invisible is now a focal point. Facebook moved the number of Likes, events and apps to prime top-and-center territory. It now gets more attention than when it was listed on the right-hand side of the page.

    In the case of Good Morning America, for instance, the show’s 585,000 Likes went from being completely ignored on its Brand Page to being the biggest attention-getter on its Timeline.

  • Cover photos with faces attract the most attention. Good Morning America and “The Muppets” have cover photos with faces, whereas the Dallas Cowboys and Pepsi do not. The cover photos with faces attracted more attention.

Take a look at the results of the study in the gallery, and let us know your own observations in the comments.

Dallas Cowboys: Visual Attention Level

Areas that were looked at most are shown in red on the heat map. In the Timeline, viewers concentrated more of their time at the top of the page.


Dallas Cowboys: Opacity Map

This is the same information shown in the heat map, but in a different way. It shows what viewers saw, literally, when they looked at the Dallas Cowboys's profiles.


Dallas Cowboys: Percentage Seen

As in every case, 100% of viewers saw the Dallas Cowboys's cover photo. Just 65% saw the team's old profile photo.


Dallas Cowboys: Total Visit Duration

On their brand page, the Dallas Cowboys used visual elements in the way and attracted on average 6.3 seconds of attention the area. Though some of those elements still exist on the team's Timeline, they're only getting on average 5 seconds of attention now.


Dallas Cowboys: Average Time to First Fixation

On average, people noticed the cover photo in less than .5 seconds.


Dallas Cowboys: Web Fixation Order

The wall replaced the cover photo as the page element people notice first.


"Good Morning America:" Visual Attention Level

People got the most attention on both old and new profiles. On the Timeline, "Good Morning America's" number of likes had the most concentrated amount of attention.


"Good Morning America:" Opacity Map

Viewers tended to ignore the bottom half of the page.


"Good Morning America:" Percentage Seen

Everyone noticed the table of good-looking people that dominates the page. Few people noticed the ad next to it.


"Good Morning America:" Average Time to First Fixation

Viewers noticed the content on the right-hand side of Timeline last.


"Good Morning America:" Web Fixation Order

A list of Likes, events and apps were the 6th element viewers noticed in the Brand Page. On the Timeline, a similar list became the second element they noticed.


"Good Morning America:" Total Visit Duration

Viewers of the show's Timeline spent on average 7 minutes looking at the cover photo, but only 4 seconds looking at the Timeline content. When they were looking at the Brand Page, they spent more time looking at the wall than any other page element.


"The Muppets:" Visual Attention Level

It's easy to see why viewers focused so closely on this cover photo.


"The Muppets:" Opacity Map

"The Muppets's" visually rich Wall drew more attention than its Timeline.


"The Muppets:" Percentage Seen

Just as many people saw a video on "The Muppets's" wall as saw its cover photo.


"The Muppets:" Total Visit Duration

Viewers spent more time looking at "The Muppets's" cover photo than at any other page element in this study.


"The Muppets:" Average Time to First Fixation

It took on average 8 seconds for viewers to look at the video in "The Muppets" Timeline. A video on its Brand Page's Wall made them look within .4 seconds.


"The Muppets:" Web Page Fixation Order

Pepsi: Visual Attention Level

Pepsi's logo got he most attention on its page.


Pepsi: Opacity Map

Pepsi's cover photo does not get as much attention as those that include faces.


Pepsi: Percentage Seen

Even without faces, 100% of viewers noticed Pepsi's cover photo.


Pepsi: Total Visit Duration

Viewers spent more time looking at the cover photo and menu bar on Pepsi's Timeline than they did looking at all of the other elements on the page combined.


Pepsi: Average Time to First Fixation

As with other Timelines, Viewers saw the cover photo first and the Timeline content last.


Pepsi: Web Fixation Order
 

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