As of March 30, 2012, Facebook will change the design format for all Pages to a new Timeline View. This applies both to individual pages (which used to be called “Walls”) as well as company or brand Fan Pages. With the new Timeline View format, Pages will have Insights and message notifications built into the top of the page and will offer more control over which content appears on your Page.
However, one change that has many Marketers upset is the elimination of Customized Landing Page Tabs. (We’ll write more on this in our next blog post). Facebook has eliminated the Landing Page feature that allows businesses to control what new visitors see when visiting the Page for the first time. The mini “websites” within Facebook are gone. The new Timeline view focuses on Facebook page streaming content, but Facebook has created more tools to control how this page looks.
Facebook explains it here in the Facebook tutorial.
A closer look at the Facebook Timeline
So what’s changing? Many things! In addition to eliminating the Landing Pages, Facebook is focusing more on visual content – images. You may have noticed that the sizes of images with wall posts have increased to a rather large 404 by 404 pixels.
Post Control. With the new timeline view, Facebook is also giving you more control over the order of posts, and the way things appear on your Page. You can add, “star,” “Pin,” or hide posts. Posts which ware “pinned” will always appear at the top of your page. You can reorder past posts or events to select the items that are most relevant to your message. If you star a post, it will appear across the width of the page.
Cover Photo. The “Cover Photo” becomes the key feature of your page. But Facebook has created some strict rules about what is allowed in these photos. They are definitely going for a more community-feel instead of an advertising one.
For example, Facebook forbids you from including a price or purchase information in the cover photo. So forget about adding “20% off” or “special offer code” to your photo. Facebook also says you can’t include a call to action (such as “buy it now”) or include your URL in the image. They also warn that your cover photo should not ask people to “Like” or “Share” your page.
What can the photo do? Well, it can visually tell your brand’s story. If you get creative with Photoshop, you can use this valuable real estate to showcase images of your products, highlight your unique selling points or feature your people. It’s a large space ( 851 x 315 pixels!), so make it work for you.
Application Links. Photos, likes and apps are now at the top of your Page. Photos show in the first spot, but you can change the order of everything else so people see what matters most. You can show a maximum number of 12 apps, so make sure to put your most important ones first. You can customize each app’s icon with a title and an image up to 11 x 74 pixels.
Milestones. Under milestones you can highlight events in your brand’s history. Milestone images can be 843 x 403 pixels, and so they appear across the full width of your timeline. This is another chance to visually tell your brand’s story.
The Facebook Pages product guide is here.