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Facebook Releases the New Timeline Format for Business Pages

Have you noticed any changes on your Facebook Pages? Last Wednesday, Facebook announced Timelines for Facebook Pages.

Unfortunately, you cannot choose whether or not you want to use the timeline because as of March 30, 2012, all Pages will be converted to the new format.

What does this mean for you?

A lot of changes are in store for Page owners. Thankfully, you will have a few weeks to prepare.

Below is a list of the most important changes:

No More Default Landing Tab

Remember those welcome pages and like gates? Facebook will not allow them with the Timeline format. You cannot send potential fans to a default page urging them to “like” your page. Your welcome page will remain, but you cannot make it a default landing page.

Custom Tabs

The custom tabs, now called applications, are re-located to directly under the cover image on the right-hand side. They are larger and easier to navigate. You also have the ability to add a custom image (117×74 pixels) to each tab. This is where your welcome page will be located. Because it is no longer a default page, you must find new and creative ways to draw attention to it. Here are some examples as to what you can do with the custom applications:

 

 

Tips:

  • You are allowed a maximum of 12 applications, but only four will be visible on your page. Users must click on the arrow to display additional apps. Arrange your apps so the most important ones are displayed first. The photos app is fixed and cannot be re-arranged.
  • Use the app cover images to draw people to click them. Add bright colors that stand out from the background.
  • The application size is now 520px to 760px. If you do not adjust your content, the app will display whitespace to compensate for the increase.
  • To work around the removal of the default landing page, refer all traffic coming from outside Facebook to the url of your welcome page app first, instead of your Facebook page

Graphics

One of the biggest changes is the large cover photo that forms the main part of your Page. The photo is 851 x 315 pixels and is used to creatively represent brands.

On your cover image, Facebook will not allow:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website.”
  • Contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section.
  • References to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features.
  • Calls-to-action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”
  • Covers must not be false, deceptive or misleading, and must not infringe on third parties’ intellectual property.

Many marketers are unhappy about this change, but as you can see from the above examples, brands are finding creative ways around it.

Profile Photo

Your profile photo is now a 180×180 image located on the left bottom of the cover image. Facebook advises brands to use a logo for this space and to ensure the image looks professional when scaled to 32×32 since it will be used as the thumbnail.

Posts

Posts are located on a timeline format and brands can insert milestones to showcase special events, openings, discounts, etc. The milestone is displayed full-size (843 x 403 pixels) across the entire timeline.

You also have the ability to start a post to double its width on your timeline, pin a post to feature it (rises to the top for up to 7 days), or change the date of a post.

Messaging

Fans can direct message your Facebook Page privately. This is a fantastic addition for Ecommerce stores who are focused on customer service improvements.

Other Changes and Products

  • You can change the name of the title of your page by making a request here.
  • The admin panel is easier to manage and more concise. It lists notifications, insights, recommendations and likes from one screen.
  • The Activity Log allows you to manage posts and control what shows up on your timeline.

Facebook is also in the process of rolling out several new products that will greatly aid Ecommerce retailers such as Facebook Offers, Premium Ads and Reach Generator. We will update you soon as Facebook releases more information.

Do you like the new Facebook Timeline for Pages? Yes or no?

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