Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Facebook Timeline Set To Affect NASCAR

It's always controversial when Facebook rolls out another redesign of the pages that many of us use for both personal and professional conversations and information. That is Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg above in the middle of doing media interviews for the new Facebook format called Timeline.

"Timeline is Facebook’s most radical profile makeover yet," says the Harvard Independent. Timeline has been called a visual scrapbook, an online filing cabinet and even a life tracker. What it certainly will be is controversial.

NASCAR has 2.4 million friends, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has 1.2 million and Jimmie Johnson just over a half million. It's fair to say that many NASCAR fans get their information from and interact with drivers, racetracks and sponsors on Facebook.

Click here for the official Facebook page explaining Timeline. Todd Wasserman for reports that Facebook is concentrating on changing the individual pages first and has yet to release a Timeline date for brands, fan pages and the other commercial aspects of the service.

Despite not being able to use the new format yet, brands like Mountain Dew are already in the mix. The company is supplying free page elements for the new Timeline format on its current Facebook page. Mountain Dew has over 6 million Facebook friends.

You can see in the demo that once Timeline is across the board, live apps can be placed right on the page. The repercussions for services like SiriusXM, MRN and others seeking to expand their NASCAR reach online will be significant.

This will also give a big boost to NASCAR's own brand marketing folks who will be charged with developing easy to use apps for things like timing and scoring, news and results. NASCAR can be put right on anyone's page.

Facebook is fully mobile and the Timeline app will also appear on Android and iPhones. The entire thing is completely portable as long as technology allows it to be. Facebook will see to that.

The reach of this service is amazing. NASCAR has yet to scratch the surface of Facebook and continues to be light years behind in modern social media applications. One big reason for this is the continuing roadblock of having Turner Sports controlling the online NASCAR content across the board.

Next season should be a transition year as the Sports Business Journal reported last week that NASCAR is actively negotiating to buy back its digital rights and should be fully in charge of all online content, applications and streaming for 2013.

If you have switched your Facebook page to the new Timeline format, we would love to hear some feedback from you. It seems that this change is almost entirely geared toward individuals. What happens to racetracks, sponsors and teams when the other pages move to this format is going to be fascinating.

We welcome your comments on this topic. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.