The new Facebook Timelines increases engagement per post for brands by a 46%, according to research done by Simply Measured.

Simply measured looked at engagement stats before and after the launch of Timeline of fifteen major early adopters, and  in addition to overall engagement, their research showed that migrating a brands page to Timeline gives a 14% increase in fan engagement.

More than that it gives and a staggering 65% increase in engagement with interactive content such as video and photo. As the original article explains:

Facebook Timeline presents Fan Pages in a totally new light. This redesign is much more visual, focused on interactive content, and provides new features that give brands more control over how their Fan Page looks and feels. All of this is playing a role in how brand and consumers can engage on Fan Pages

The new design of Facebook pages is indeed very clear and easy to navigate, which undoubtedly helps engagement. Furthermore, the early adopters featured in this research are sure to have an advantage, as people are drawn into the pages by the novelty factor of the change. Simply Measured say that a lot of the increased engagement with video and photo content can be attributed to new features such as starring and pinning, which make the content larger and put it as the main post on the page respectively. Both feature give selected content more prominence:

Photos and videos tend to drive positive engagement. Now that this interactive content has the ability to stand out even more on a page — with the new features like starring and pinning — it is not surprising that engagement is also on the rise.

Timeline also makes it considerably easier to discover content about a brand that you ‘Like’, which the researchers say “allows brands to tell their story and turn their page into a more deeply enriched and engaging experience.” Again, they give a lot of credit for this to the new features, in particular pinning.

According to Simply Measured CEO Adam Schoenfeld “these are just preliminary results,” but it all indicates a move towards much deeper, more multimedia orientated engagement on Facebook.

Marketers are going to have to keep this new design in mind when creating brand pages, and learn some new tricks. For example, nicely designed FBML/HTML tabs, which were a staple of dynamic brand pages previously,  aren’t as prominent in the new design and so significantly less effective. The age of the mini-site style Facebook page seems to be over, while the move towards scrapbook style social media continues unabated.

So far 8 million brands have migrated their page to the new Timeline design. This is roughly a quarter of all the brands currently on the network, which helped Facebook in the face of the inevitable criticism that always greets major changes. Pages that have not already change their layout will automatically move to Timeline at the end of this month.