6 Changes to Facebook Timelines that You Need to Know Today.
So as predicted, Facebook announced some major changes today! And wow, were they major? Those who were hot off the mark and prepared for the announcement will have the ability to upload their new designs from as early as TODAY. However, the new design won't be compulsory until March 30, 2012 so there will be a bit of time for page administrators to play around with the new features before taking their designs live.
So what are the changes?
1) A Brand New Shiny Cover Photo
Similar to timelines for personal profiles, you will have the ability to upload a large cover photo to your business page. This is major real estate that you can take advantage to show off your brand so get creative. If you need some inspiration, check out http://www.simplyzesty.com/facebook/what-facebooks-timeline-brand-pages-will-look-like/. For pages, the cover photo dimensions are 851 x 315 pixels.
When thinking about the new design you must adhere to Facebook's policies regarding cover photos, which states that cover photos cannot include:
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.
2. Default Landing Tabs are Gone
Unfortunately, with the new timeline design for brands, you will no longer be able to send visitors to a default landing tab. All new visitors will automatically land on the timeline. However you will be able to feature custom apps in the views and apps section right below your Page's cover and you can link people directly to a particular view or app on your Page. See here for more details https://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=161016184011834
3. Views, Apps, Photos and Likes have Prime Position
As mentioned above, these are now located below your cover photo. Photos will automatically appear in the first spot but page admins can rearrange the others in order to highlight the most important for lead generation purposes. There will be a total of 12 apps available from the dropdown menu but only the first four will be viewable from the timeline view. The apps have also been widened so there will be 810px of content area available for tabs instead of the 520px previously. It'll take a while for apps to catch up but at least tabs are still available.
4. New messaging feature on business pages
A brand new feature to pages, admins can now allow fans to send them personal messages. This is a great new feature to enable businesses to interact one on one with their fans. It also makes it much easier for admins to have private conversations with their fans, to discuss topics in more detail, to resolve customer service issues or just to take the conversation private.
5. Pin your way to the top
By hovering over individual stories, you can make them wider, hide them from your timeline with the pencil icon, highlight them as important with the star icon, or delete them entirely. A great new feature to note here is that you can pin/anchor a specific story to the top of your timeline for up to 7 days. This means you can highlight specific posts such as remarkable content, calls-to-action, or other events/promotions you want to feature. Pinning it to the top of your page will prevent it from getting buried by more recent updates. Perhaps Facebook is offering this functionality in an attempt to make up for its strict cover photo guidelines.
6. A Sparkly New Admin Panel
Page admins can now access a new Admin Panel from the link at the top right of their business page. This new feature will allow admins to track all of the activity on their page in one convenient place. Page admins will be able to access Facebook insights, respond to comments, create ads and edit settings all from one spot.
There are quite a few more changes in terms of the design and functionality for Facebook brand pages which I’ll go into in another post but these are the major ones for now!
You can access a tour of the new timeline for pages both on the official Facebook page for the new feature and by clicking on the “learn more” button that appears on the top of any page you administer.
What are your thoughts? Who’s super-duper ecstatic? Who’s a teeny bit excited? Who’s frustrated? Who’s plain fed up? Share your thoughts here and don’t forget to subscribe to get the latest news on Facebook and the new timelines.
See you soon.
Casey@Cloud Marketing Services