About six weeks after the first brands began switching their Facebook Pages over to Timeline, some data is beginning to trickle out and it's not all good.
Facebook has yet to offer any overall analysis of brand pages before and after the Timeline switchover, but Wildfire Interactive, a social media marketing firm, has studied 67 brands that adopted Timeline and has released those results exclusively to Mashable. The report looked at the brand pages' performance before and after the switch over a nine-week period.
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First, the good news: Likes are up an average of 22% per post and People Talking About This (PTAT) rose 25%. The bad news? Comments are down 6.5% per post and fan growth was "slowed slightly" for all brands on average, but brands with more than 1 million fans experienced twice the sluggishness of smaller brands. The company did not delineate the extent of that slowing.
Generally, bigger brands fared less well than their smaller counterparts. Likes per post on brands with 1 million-plus fans jumped 10.9% while PTAT was up 11.9% and comments per post fell 7.4%.
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Wildfire CEO Victoria Ransom believes that comments are down with the Timeline redesign because "it's much more difficult to see users' comments, both on a brand's wall and in the newsfeed." Adding to the issue, "comments from other fans don't show up in brands' posts on users' newsfeeds and because Timeline is now so visual with so much real estate taken up by pictures and videos, comments are quickly collapsed. This encourages likes and shares more than comments," Ransom says.
Wildfire's analysis is the second it's done since Timeline launched. The first, which was released at the end of February and included just 43 brands, showed lower engagement with brands with 10 million or more fans, but the new numbers, which encompass a longer period, do not. Another researcher, Simply Measured, noted a 46% increase in post-Timeline brand engagement in late March, but had looked at a smaller sample of 15 brands.
Facebook reps could not be reached for comment on the report. The company has a lot riding on Timeline, whose brand pages launch included an overhaul of the company's ad products.
1. Cover photo potential
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This story originally published on Mashable here.