Facebook Timline Changes and How They Will Affect You and Your Business!

Hey guys,

OK, unless you have buried in work for the last month or two (like me :-)), you will have heard about the new Facebook timeline changes for all fan pages.
Basically, on March 30th 2012 all pages will be automatically changed over to the new timeline format on Facebook

So I would recommend you go and familiarize yourself with the new layout before Facebook makes the change.

I personally think it’s a great update, I know it’s a bit of a pain to update your pages, but there are loads of new features that are pretty cool:

Cool New Features:

Massive Cover Photo Size

The cover photo, or main image at the top of your page can now be upto 851 pixels wide, giving you a LOT more exposure to highlight your page.

Cover photos are 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall. If you upload an image that’s smaller than these dimensions, it will get stretched to this larger size. The image you upload must be at least 399 pixels wide.

Facebook has set a few rules with this though, check them out:

Cover images must be at least 399 pixels wide and may not contain:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”

All cover images are public, which means anyone visiting your Page will be able to see the image you choose. Covers must not be false, deceptive or misleading, and must not infringe on third parties’ intellectual property. You may not encourage or incentivize people to upload your cover image to their personal timelines.

Oh, and they’ll probably keep updating them, so make sure you keep checking!

Much Wider Page Tabs

This is great in my opinion, the old page tabs used to be 520px wide, allowing you to use around 500px before scrolling, but the new ones are a massive 810px wide which you can place a decent 790px page into.

That’s pretty much a full size website, giving you a LOT more scope for making your page look cool with loads of content.

Better Tab Icons

The tab icons that link to your ‘Photos’, ‘Likes’ and custom tabs etc. are placed very prominently just below your cover photo, they are much larger than the previous ones (109x72px)

Fan Page Messaging

This is also a pretty cool feature, pages now have the option to show a ‘Message’ button just below the cover photo, so fans can message the page privately. As I said it’s optional, but by default it shows the message button.

It’s a good way for your fans to interact with you I think, as long as it does not get abused. Guess we’ll have to see how that goes eh! πŸ™‚

Highlighting and Pinning Posts

This is definitely a cool feature, by simply clicking the little star at the top of a post you can ‘highlight’ it, making it full page width, and by clicking the little pencil icon you can pin that post to the top of your page.

Awesome idea for those ‘need to be seen’ posts!

NewΒ  Page Admin Panel

This is also a pretty cool feature, you can now view your admin panel in great detail above your page, giving you information on notifications, messages, likes, insights and page tips right at your fingertips

 

Not So Cool New Features:

Default Landing Tab Removal

Booooooo, the default landing tab is going to be removed, so you can’t set which page a fan will land on by default, it’s not a big drawback, especially with the new tab icon size being more readable, but nevertheless it’s not so cool!

 

Please let me know your thoughts on the new Facebook timeline changes, and feel free to share one link to your new fan page once you have it set up.

Also, don’t forget to ‘like’ and share this post using the options below too please!

Talk soon,

Dave.

49 thoughts on “Facebook Timline Changes and How They Will Affect You and Your Business!”

  1. Hi Dave

    Yeah the default landing tab is sure going to be missed – it was a great way of interacting with that first time visitor…but as you say the tabs are now a lot bigger and with the proper image attached it should catch the reader’s eye.

    I like the new changes and have already made the switch. I’m sure there will be a few that try to push the Timeline cover to its limit πŸ™‚ and if that happens, I’m sure Facebook will have a busy time on their hands trying to patrol it all.

    Nice post Dave – catch you later,

    Eamon.

    1. Hey Eamon,

      Cheers for your comments, yeah there is some stuff that will be really missed.
      Yeah, they may have created a bit of work for themselves, but I guess they can handle it πŸ™‚

      Regards,

      Dave.

  2. I think the changes should make things better for Facebook users. But I’ll wait and see what happens. Will the changes make it any easier to use Facebook when creating fan pages and what benefits will the user gain when the new changes come into effect?

    1. Hey Richard,

      Yeah, I think it’s going to take some time for people to adjust!
      Yes, it will be slightly easier to create new pages, I’ll add an update when I’ve finished what I’m working on.

      Regards,

      Dave.

  3. Hi Dave,

    Over the last week I’ve been reading everything I could get my hands on about this update. Didn’t want to jump the gun and purchase a how-to product. Thanks for this info.

    Cheers,

    Brenda

  4. I am still undecided about it. I own several different fan pages and for some it will be beneficial, others not really. But, I guess I just need to maybe get more creative..lol.

    I do love the new messaging feature as it will help me out with a lot of my fan pages…I just hope it doesn’t draw more spam πŸ˜‰

    I appreciate you laying it all out for us, that was very nice of you.

    Linda
    Linda recently posted..Install a Theme in WordPress – Barry Well’s Video Challenge #2My Profile

    1. Hey Linda,

      Lol, yeah, get more creative πŸ™‚
      I think the messaging feature will be fine, it is optional after all.
      Watch me eat my words later πŸ™‚

      Regards,

      Dave.

  5. Hey Dave great post. I agree with all of your point made here. However, I was shocked to hear that the reveal tab apps will no longer be allowed. This is ridiculous! I just don’t get FB aggressive stance on getting us marketers or LIKE page owners to use their Ad network to build our fan base rather than our marketing techniques. As you created a post about this I created a video —> http://youtu.be/05vQ5x8Sb1w

    Btw nice blog design & layout:-)

  6. Hey Dave,

    Wow man, you may have been working a lot but you also took some time to write a very detailed article on Facebook Timeline for Fan Pages.

    To be honest with you, I have a fanpage but I haven’t even set that one properly yet, call it procrastination or ignorance but I have been postponing that activity for a long time now.

    Thanks for the reminder and I’ll try my best to have that baby set up as soon as possible but definitely sooner than the forced upgrade deadline.

    Speak soon!

    Sergio
    Sergio Felix recently posted..6 Hours Self-Imposed Social Media BlackoutMy Profile

  7. Hi Dave

    Great info, are you and Steve going to be doing any Cover Graphic packages for the new timeline??? if so any idea on cost & how to order.

    Regards

    Mark

    1. Hey Mark,

      Does a bear crap in the woods? πŸ™‚
      We are already on the case mate, they will be cheap as chips and ultra high quality.
      I’ll send a mail out when ready (2 weeks at most)

      Regards,

      Dave.

      1. Hey Dave, please let us know as soon as they are ready. I’m currently discussing tackling this. Steve said he came by your house earlier today to check out those other templates you had. I’m sure you recall. How soon will you have those templates available? 3-6 weeks? I’m asking because I’m currently creating a product on the new FB timeline for pages. Maybe I could integrate your templates into my back-end just a suggestion. If anything Dave PM on Facebook.

        Btw we are already friends if you have forgotten πŸ™‚

        Regards

        Manie
        Manie Amari recently posted..VERIFIED PROOF: $1,189.00My Profile

  8. I want a CHOICE, new timeline or the original. I do not appreciate being FORCED into compliance on things like this.

    1. Hey Ryan,

      Like Page Builder WILL work with the new timeline when it’s ‘pushed’ un us at the end of the month.
      We are just waiting to see if Facebook make any more changes before the update is released.
      You’ll get a mail if you’re on my list when it’s good to go.

      Regards,

      Dave.

  9. I’m with Freebies on this – why not give us a choice? Meanwhile clock is ticking and whether we like it or not, that massive timeline cover is going to go live. Aaargh!

    Thanks for laying it out in such detail – makes the task a lot less daunting to go and sort it out .

    Great blog BTW!

    Dee
    Dee Ankary recently posted..The Little Website That CouldMy Profile

  10. Hi Dave,

    Great post.

    Having not spent any time creating a Facebook Fan Page I’ll be jumping straight into the new format and many of your positives are dead on, I also think it provides an opportunity to have a more natural dialogue with anyone who visits as they will get good content (provided you keep the page updated) immediately in what appears to be quite a visually rich format.

    In regards to the ‘reveal feature removal’ I found a post over on portent.com that mentioned the bug tracking for timelines and apparently this feature should now be working. The bug tracking page is at https://developers.facebook.com/bugs/228778937218386 and they claim it now works as it did originally so it’ll be interesting to see if that’s the case.

    Let us know what you find out.

    Cheers,

    Stefan
    Stefan Dyke recently posted..Keep It Simple Stefan!My Profile

    1. Hey Stefan,

      Cheers for your comments and info on the update, I’ll check it out and if it works I’ll update my post.
      But I won’t hold my breath πŸ™‚

      Regards,

      Dave.

    2. Hey Stefan,

      OK, so I looked into it and tested it myself and apparently it WAS just a bug in the timeline pages, they fixed it yesterday (bloody typical!)
      It works fine now, and it looks like the ‘reveal’ or ‘fan gate’ feature will stay with us (yay!)
      Thanks again for your input.

      Regards,

      Dave.

    1. Lol yeah, I’m sure they had a team of people deciding what was best for us πŸ™‚
      Maybe a mass poll should have been the way to go with a ‘social’ site!

      Regards,

      Dave.

  11. Thanks so much for the very informative post Dave – sincerely appreciated and well explained btw.

    I also don’t like being forced into these things, but anyway, it surely explains why FB has been sending emails offering $50 worth of free ads lately.

    I am taking all my pages down and planning to start over when the dust has settled, so will be looking forward to your next FB offerings. I must say I really hate how some marketers have jumped in and started selling fixes without bothering to fully explain what is happening – so I am no longer on those lists.

    I know how busy you must be and can’t even begin to explain how much it means when you take time out of your day to explain what these FB chanages actually are and what they mean.

    Thanks again for the great information,
    Best wishes,
    Carol

    1. Hey Carol,

      Thanks for your compliments, much appreciated.
      Yeah, I suppose it’s a good excuse for everybody to update their pages.
      I’m pleased it helped you.

      Regards,

      Dave.

  12. Recent health issues have kept me pretty much offline for well over a month, and now that I’m feeling better I’ve returned only to find everything in a severe state of flux (even more so than is the norm), thanks largely to this “Timeline” thing which (thanks to your post, Dave) is at least making a bit more sense to me now. I was only just beginning to set up my business Fan Pages, so now I need to study just what all of the Timeline changes entail, and how much of the video training I currently have on how to set up Fan Pages is now obsolete.

    I’m quite disappointed that (at least from what I can gather), “reveal” pages – where you’re asked to click the “Like” button before the desired content is made available to you are a casualty brought about by the Timeline change. If things had remained as they were (with reveal pages remaining), email list-building would have become largely obsolete since you could gain exposure for your business and attract customers virally with reveal pages basically taking the place of squeeze pages.

    I truly hope that these changes won’t affect my current ability to host webinars directly on my Facebook pages – that would be a sever blow to my marketing capabilities indeed!

    I strongly suspected that something along these lines would happen once Facebook “went public” recently, and became a Corporation run by committee and a Board of Directors whose ONLY focus and goal is to create the largest bottom line possible, by whatever means they can concoct. That’s the typical “corporate mindset” that has given corporations their lousy reputation (and in most cases, that reputation is richly deserved)!

    If the powers-that-be at Facebook continue to mess and fiddle around with the membership’s ability to use Facebook – ENJOYABLY – then we’re likely to see a mass exodus to some other social network in much the same fashion that everyone migrated to Facebook from MySpace some 5 or 6 years ago. The most common complaint about MySpace back then was that it had become too “spammy” – thanks to the flood of over-zealous half-educated inept “marketers” who basically shredded the trust of, and generally jaded the general membership with their use of “friending robots” to collect tens of thousands of “friends.”

    We marketers are usually pretty adaptable to the challenges that come our way – those of us who think in terms of the “long haul” anyway. Change is inevitable as a part of life, and ultimately we’re judged by how we deal with those challenges as we encounter them.

    1. Hey Don,

      Some good points there man, thanks a lot for your comments.
      I think Facebook knows that they pretty much call the shots, but apparently they DO listen to what people want!
      I think we should see how it pans out.

      Regards,

      Dave.

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  14. I think that the biggest impact that the Timeline Update will have on marketers in general is the loss of the ability to govern the “landing” page, which means that it will take some creativity to bring people thru any “Fan Gate” pages (“Like this page to get a freebie”). Since the Timeline cover image can’t contain any references or direction to visit any specific pages, it’s going to be incumbent on marketers to provide compelling content on the Timeline itself that will cause readers/visitors to explore the pages that await them (any of which CAN be a “Fan Gate,” at least as I interpret Facebook’s new rules as they read at the moment).

  15. Hi Dave
    I am still trying to get my head around the FB timeline system, not great news regarding the the default landing page but I am sure it can be resolved if you are creative enough.
    How does the timeline change effect the like page builder? Is there going to be an update on that too?

    Best wishes

    Clive

  16. Hi Da

    thanks for creating this terrific Blog.

    I found the post on facebook timeline very helpful to me as I was not aware of the changes.

    I am new to Johns partner to success program

    ill be coming back here again and again as there is so much content here to soak up and learn from

    Thanks again

    Steve reh

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