Facebook’s Timeline for Brand Pages Gets Awkward

Facebook has finally launched Timeline for brand pages. I’ve heard some chatter, but haven’t heard anyone talking about the elephant in the room. The new Timeline creates some extremely awkward situations by pulling comments from your friends onto the brand’s page, likely without either party realizing what is being displayed. I’d liken this to the creepy personalized ads they rolled out a few years ago.

Here are a few I found. In the first example, I’ve included a larger screenshot so that you can get an idea of where the comments are being shown on the brand page. The comment is highlighted in yellow. The examples that follow will feature only the comment found on the brand page. Identities have been hidden to protect the innocent… and herpes-lipped.


Maybe his sores increase his accuracy in guessing who will win the game?

espn brand page comment


American Express

Apparently, if you plan on boozing you should stick with Visa.



Dear Macy’s, consider this your warning. Also why are you looking for my friends parents?



Note to self: Hide the matches and gasoline when hanging out with this guy.


Today Show

Sporting events: zero
Matt & his goons: 1

My point?

Some of those are funny, but more importantly they might be bringing more attention to your words than you wanted them to have.  These aren’t just comments where the brand has been directly called by name. Facebook is trolling the history of our status updates for keywords. If they find keywords they deem to be relevant to a brand page that has Timeline, they might insert that status update when your friends look at that brand’s page. The search geek in me would like to point out that they don’t seem to be negative matching any terms to keep certain comments from appearing. I get what they are trying to do, but in a lot of cases it is downright weird.

To top it off, a lot of the updates are old. I pulled all of the screenshots yesterday which means Facebook is implying updates and comments posted months ago would be relevant to my thoughts on the brand today. Not so. For my fellow users, let this serve as a reminder that you should always be careful with the things you post online. You never know where your words might popup again without you even realizing it.


  1. Bruce R. (BPR639geek) says

    Hmmm, ‘Gets Awkward” wasn’t it always? I thought the new timeline was a choice *I* could make. Then one day, it seemed to be forced upon me, makes me VERY unhappy. I’m not saying everything must stay the same, but I’d like some choices I can control!!! “B”

    • Profile photo of Ashley Baxter says

      Agree with you completely Bruce. Things change, but there is no explanation on exactly what that means for users. We give FB a lot of personal information, but may not even know all the ways they are using our data for their own purpose.