Timeline for Facebook pages: a complete overview of new features

Facebook today unveils Timeline for pages — a combination of design elements and moderation features that give organizations the controls they need to maintain an effective presence on the social network.

The redesign, the largest for pages since February 2011, creates a more unified look and feel for the site after profiles and groups were updated earlier this year. Page owners will have a 30-day window in which to redesign their pages and publish when they are ready. On March 30, all pages will automatically switch to the new format.

The layout features a cover photo and larger stories presented chronologically, similar to Timeline for personal profiles. What differs is the ability to pin a post to the top of a page and a friend activity box that makes pages more relevant to each user. Page tabs still function, but there is no longer an option to set a third-party tab as default. A new admin panel, activity log and direct message feature will help page owners manage their communities.

We had a chance to preview the new pages. Here’s what we found:

Cover Photo

In lieu of a unique landing tab, pages have a 851×315 pixel photo to convey a brand message. Facebook wants to keep cover photos from looking like banner ads, however, so images cannot include price or purchase information, contact info, calls to action or references to Facebook features such as Like or Share. Page owners might be frustrated by this, but we can see why Facebook would do it as most users won’t understand what aspects of a page are done by third-parties versus done by Facebook. If pages use cover photos like advertisements, many users could confuse them for actual ads.

Timeline

Page owners can now add milestones and choose to make featured posts larger than others, similar to what users can do with life events on Timeline (see below). Pages can also hide individual posts without deleting them. This allows pages to display only its most engaging posts without losing important data.

Additionally, page owners can pin an important post to the top of the page — something they’ve wanted to do for a long time. Pinned posts can stay for up to seven days. Unlike on Twitter, pinned posts are available to all page, not just premium advertisers.

Admin Panel

A new management tool appears at the top of pages to which a person has admin rights. It gives a snapshot of insights, people who recently Liked the page, fan activity notifications and a message inbox. Pages can now accept direct messages from users, which is similar to a feature we saw tested in December 2011. This allows customer service issues and other sensitive matters to be discussed privately instead of on the wall. Pages cannot initiate direct messages with fans.

The admin panel also includes Help Center items like “Request a name change for your page,” prompts to create ads and other tips for page owners.

Activity Log

As on personal profiles, the activity log is useful for finding and editing old posts. Admins can sort items by year or type of story. The activity log is only visible to users who have admin rights to the page. From screenshots we’ve seen, insights for each post are not shown in the activity log, but this would be a helpful addition.

Applications

Page tab apps continue to function, but instead of listing apps down the left side of the page, apps are available on the right beneath the cover photo. Fewer tabs can be highlighted above a “See more” option, but all apps benefit from larger thumbnails. App images are 111×74 pixels instead of the 16×16 pixel favicons used previously. Apps themselves can now be up to 810 pixels wide. They render on a new page underneath a header with a link back to the page, a drop-down menu with other tabs and a Like button if users don’t already.

Facebook will no longer allow default landing tabs. The company recommends pages pin a post that links to a particular tab. According to cover photo guidelines, pages cannot add images that use arrows or text to direct people to visit tabs or take particular actions. The social network seems to be weaning pages off of tab applications. The vision is for Facebook to be integrated into third-party websites and mobile apps, not to have applications running within page frames. Because many companies already invested in developing applications for their pages, however, the social network could not simply get rid of them at this stage.

We will be reporting from the Facebook Marketing Conference in New York City today, providing updates about the new pages and any other announcements the company might make at the event.

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25 Responses to “Timeline for Facebook pages: a complete overview of new features”

  1. Facebook Launches Timeline for Facebook Pages says:

    [...] Inside Facebook has posted a really good overview of the new features on Timeline for Facebook. [...]

  2. La cronología salta a las páginas de Facebook | Que hay de nuevo mundo? says:

    [...] Más info: Inside Facebook [...]

  3. gmSoft - software factory says:

    [...] Más información: Inside Facebook [...]

  4. Creating a Welcome Tab for your Facebook Business Page « Donna Queza – Marketing Optimist says:

    [...] are changing with Facebook pages, with the rollout of timeline. Check out this overview on how you can make the most of this new layout [...]

  5. Facebook Redesign – Rob Fahrni says:

    [...] Inside Facebook: “The redesign, the largest for pages since February 2011, creates a more unified look and feel for the site after profiles and groups were updated earlier this year. Page owners will have a 30-day window to redesign their pages and publish when they are ready. On March 31, all pages will automatically switch to the new format.” [...]

  6. Yet another frenzied Timeline post! (A roundup) | Shane O Leary Yet another frenzied Timeline post! (A roundup) | Shane O Leary's Personal Website says:

    [...] [Inside Facebook] Timeline: A Complete Overview [...]

  7. The Changes On Facebook | The Village Agency says:

    [...] Inside Facebook reported: “…recommend [that] pages pin a post that links to a particular tab. According to cover photo guidelines, pages cannot add [cover] images that use arrows or text to direct people to visit tabs or take particular actions.” [...]

  8. Afternoon Doubloons – Links In Brief(s). | HMS Friday says:

    [...] A complete overview of how the new Facebook timeline will change your Fan Pages – (Inside Facebook) [...]

  9. Facebook Timeline for Fan Pages « Radio and Social Media says:

    [...] you'd expect from this type of rollout, new features were unveiled. Thanks to the help of InsideFacebook and Social Media Today, two sites dedicated to the latest in social media, Here are the big [...]

  10. Timeline for Facebook Business Pages | Interim Business Solutions | interimbusiness.com.au says:

    [...] How to Engage Your Audience with the New Facebook Timeline for Pages Inside Facebook – Timeline for Facebook pages: a complete overview of new features Dreamgrow Digital – Facebook Cheat Sheet: Sizes and [...]

  11. Timeline for Facebook - Changes Required by March 31, 2012 | Inbound MarketPro says:

    [...] read more hereRelated Posts:Facebook Welcome Tab – by TabPressA Guide to Facebook’s Social Plugins – Likes, Sends, Feeds and moreHow to Link Your Blog to Facebook and TwitterThe Ultimate Facebook Marketing Cheat Sheet from HubspotHow to Optimize Blog Posts for Social Media Sharing Posted in Social Media Tagged Facebook, Social media permalink [...]

  12. Facebook introduced Timeline for Pages, what will change piq me Blog about Inbound Marketing | SEO | UX says:

    [...] Insidefacebook.com reports on Applications: [...]

  13. 10 Optimization Secrets To Drive More Mobile Traffic From Facebook says:

    [...] non-logged-in smartphone users to the m.facebook.com “info” page. This will likely change later this year as Timeline is rolled out for mobile [...]

  14. 10 Optimization Secrets To Drive More Mobile Traffic From Facebook says:

    [...] redirects non-logged-in smartphone users to the m.facebook.com “info” page. This will likely change later this year as Timeline is rolled out for mobile [...]

  15. 10 Optimization Secrets To Drive More Mobile Traffic From Facebook | Experts Bto says:

    [...] redirects non-logged-in smartphone users to the m.facebook.com “info” page. This will likely change later this year as Timeline is rolled out for mobile [...]

  16. New Facebook Timeline Means More Facebook Content Control says:

    [...] 30th. For a good recap of the new features, you can read this post from Inside Facebook – Timeline for Facebook pages: a complete overview of new features or Mari Smith’s Facebook Timeline for Business Pages – 21 Key Points To [...]

  17. Facebook Timeline Dimensions Cheat Sheet | Technology and Tourism in Lancaster County says:

    [...] you ready for Facebook’s mandatory rollover to its new Timeline design on your brand’s page?  The March 30th deadline to switch to the timeline view is fast [...]

  18. 10 Optimization Secrets To Drive More Mobile Traffic From Facebook | Media Developer says:

    [...] redirects non-logged-in smartphone users to the m.facebook.com “info” page. This will likely change later this year as Timeline is rolled out for mobile [...]

  19. API Måndag – Sveriges bästa API, Facebook, Webcoast och Trafiklab » API – Mashup.se says:

    [...] slutet av februari så kom Facebook ut med Timeline for Pages, men deras API har inte riktigt hängt med. Det har de nu korrigerat med en ny version av Pages [...]

  20. Facebook Timeline Switch is Today says:

    [...] Inside Facebook – Timeline for Facebook pages: a complete overview of new features [...]

  21. How to turn on Facebook Timeline for Pages right now | Chris Snider says:

    [...] launched Timeline for Pages today and will roll it out to all pages on March 30, [...]

  22. My first look at the new Facebook Pages design and Timeline — Colleen Greene says:

    [...] Inside Facebook: Timeline for Facebook pages: a complete overview of new features [...]

  23. Timeline for Facebook - the complete checklist for community managers | says:

    [...] Inside Facebook [...]

  24. Social Media Cheat Sheet: Sizing Photos for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube - SocialTimes says:

    [...] In February 2012, Facebook updated the look of its Timeline for Pages to include cover photos and featured posts, among other changes. [...]

  25. Ideal Image Sizes for Facebook & Twitter - GalleyCat says:

    [...] Facebook updated the look of its Timeline for Pages to include cover photos and featured posts, among other changes. Twitter’s December 2011 redesign, “Let’s Fly,” included new backgrounds for profiles. [...]

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