Today Facebook has rolled out its Timeline product for Pages. Although you don’t have to make the switch until March 30, I decided to get in there and start playing with it. You can see my Page with the Timeline added at http://facebook.com/JenFongSpeaks. Some of the biggest changes I’ve noticed:
- Cover Photo – You now have the ability to add a large cover photo to your Page. The trade-off is that you’re losing those nice long images you may have been using as the main image of your Page, and have to have something square instead. This will take some re-tooling.
- No More Custom Landing Tab – This is the change I like the least. Facebook no longer allows Page owners to designate a custom landing tab for first-time visitors. Since those Welcome tabs have dramatically increased the number of likes on a Page, I’m very sorry to lose them. Custom tabs still exist and you can link to individual tabs, but you can’t set them to be the place a person lands first. To encourage more likes, I suggest you add a Like message to your cover photo.
*Update: So apparently you can’t ask people to “Like” via your cover image. (Thanks Carolyn Bodkin for the heads up.) From Facebook Help:
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”
See all requirements here: https://www.facebook.com/help?faq=%20276329115767498
- Admin Panel – Facebook has created a dashboard of sorts for Page Admins. From here you can see recent activity on your Page, reach your Page editing tools, view some preliminary insights, etc. It’s a pretty neat tool and one that I think can be valuable.
- Messages – I love this. People can finally message Page Admins from the Page, instead of just posting to the wall. It doesn’t look like you can SEND messages as a Page unless someone has messaged you first, but it’s a start.
- Highlight Posts – You can make a post double-wide (spans both columns of the timeline) by clicking the star in the upper-right corner of any post. It gives that post more prominence on your Page.
- Recent Posts by Others – You now have a box on your Page that highlights comments from others on your Page, instead of having them appear directly on the “wall” of the Page along with the Page’s posts. They have their own section now. If you want to interact with any of those posts, you have to open the box first by clicking See All. I wonder if this will impact people interacting with individual posts?
Overall, I recommend that you wait to change over to the new format. Let others mess around with it and hopefully work out some of the kinks before committing yourself. Yes, you’ll have to in 30 days, but if there’s enough outcry over certain features, perhaps Facebook may make some slight adjustments. Better to wait and get the best product possible.
Have you switched over yet? What are your thoughts on Facebook Timeline for Pages? Would love to read your comments below.