After today’s introduction of Facebook Timeline for brand pages, brands have taken to the service to roll out historical views of themselves. Manchester United’s page runs back through its 134 years and includes 18 different languages with 300 pieces of new content. Dove, the beauty products company, retraces its steps back to 1957 and Burberry goes into the time machine to its foundation in 1856.
Among the most interesting ones that we’ve found so far is that of The New York Times. It has taken the reins and decided to turn its page into a veritable history lesson. According to the page, The Times still aims to be “a hub for breaking news and features”, but scrolling through the timeline you’ll see events happening as far back as 1851, the year that the publication was formed as the New-York Daily Times.
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At present, most of the events that are featured far in the past are those related to the paper itself. You’ll see when it changed its name and when the Sunday edition began, but you’ll also see the front page from April 15th, 1865 when President Lincoln was assassinated.
It’s an amazing, historic walk through the lifetime of one of the oldest, still-running publications in the United States, and it’s well worth a few minutes of your time to dig through the stories. It’s also a brilliant use of a Facebook’s Timeline, and it raises the question as to whether Facebook itself could become a relevant source for students and historians alike.
Even if students don’t start citing Facebook Timelines in their papers, it’s still an incredibly cool opportunity for brands to tell their stories and connect with users on a level that’s not been seen before. We’ll be eagerly seeking out other Timelines, and encourage you to do the same. Found a great one? Drop it to us in the comments below.