March 5, 2012

You might have heard that Facebook is making some massive changes to the way brands can market themselves on the social network. Timeline, the new interface for individuals, is the new default interface for Pages.

Here is a list of what we’ve been able to find out so far about the changes – and what they mean for you.

  • Existing pages will be flicked over to Timeline “on March 30th” (we’re assuming this is a US timezone so for NZers this would be March 31.
  • Default landing pages no longer work – they are still available on the page though and can be featured fairly prominently, but we don’t expect many visitors to click on them voluntarily.
  • Each static page can have a thumbnail (111px by 74px) (see  http://www.facebook.com/cocacola for how Coke is using them)
  • The only “entry icon” that can’t be moved is the Photos link
  • “Profile images” (the ones that used to head up the left hand column) now get scaled down to 133 pixels wide (even though they still need to be at least 180px wide when you upload them – ??) and then get cropped from the bottom up to 133px high too
  • Pages have the cover photo feature. These appear to be 850px by 315px.  Facebook has reportedly warned against putting massive ads in here though (although we’re unsure what the consequences would be – maybe they will remove images that are advertising – or suspend your account – who knows?)
  • You can “pin” statuses to the top of your timeline.  Redbull have used this to kick start a competiton (along with being able to post historical info about their brand).  [who knew redbull had been around since 1987??]
  • Pages can now receive and reply to private messages from their fans
  • You used to be able to like a page then see different content automatically (this is called “like gating”).  The page now doesn’t automatically refresh when you like the page to see the like-only content. This appears to be a body blow for marketers who would reveal discount codes or other rewards when a visitor liked their Page.