Facebook is rolling out another mandatory design change in the coming weeks in the form of Timeline. This will dramatically change the presentation of the Wall/Profile in a new combined space, placing all activities, posts, and updates along a chronological line from most recent to oldest. You’ve no doubt heard about the changes and perhaps already seen some people with the new look. If not, here’s the world’s greatest, fictional ad man to explain:

Don Draper Present Facebook Timeline

According to Facebook, Timeline is meant to “tell your life story with a new kind of profile”—in other words, a personal, self-written narrative. Users can add “life events,” (like a new job or moving) both current and back-dated, turning “You” into the star of your own movie. There is even an app, Timeline Movie maker, that does just that. After quickly parsing through your timeline, the app produces a 1-minute film starring content. It is yet another example of the way Facebook allows personalization and identity creation within the confines of a predefined template. ‘Your story’ is yours to write… within limits.

All stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. With Facebook Timeline, you can go back and fill in the B.F. (Before Facebook), parts, but what about the end? No app has allowed users to update their status from the grave—until now. If I Die, a new Facebook app by developers Willook, allows users to create a video or text message to be posted upon one’s death (to be confirmed by friends you have selected). Never before has facing one’s mortality been easier.

With this trend towards writing one’s personal story, companies should be concerned with how a potential consumer views the brand in relation to the story their attempting to “write,” as facilitated through social media like Facebook and other relevant apps. What role will your brand play in the life story of your customers?