Monday, March 26, 2012

New Facebook Timeline Covers For Businesses

Facebook changes are coming up very soon. Make sure your business is prepared for the dramatic new look and features that will happen whether you want them or not. North Star Web Services is happy to assist you with this change if you'd like. Just call (603) 752-3089 or email for more information and prices.

Once you log into your Facebook profile account now, see your home screen carefully – there might be the invite to try timeline waiting for you at the top of the page. This is a kind of omnibus, dual-column look everyone’s going to have on Facebook until the end of March 2012.

So based on the content you’ve shared on your Facebook profile, this timeline page will show the most interesting of your stories made up of widget-like boxes in a reverse chronological order. But in the first spot there will be a profile cover – the large image banner of the user’s choice at the top of the page. User’s content can be also displayed in the apps section (can be viewed when page visitors click the dropdown arrow) and the status update box (it is where users can share new photos, links, updates, places). Mention that as you scroll down the timeline, the right-hand column for fast navigation and the toolbar at the top of the page will remain static. Some examples below:

Summarizing the changes, in the new Facebook layout we can see:!/butterfinger
 •cover photo: now the large banner image of a user’s choice will sit at the top of the timeline along with an inset of a user’s profile photo. The cover photo dimensions are 851×315 pixels (if the image is smaller than these dimensions, it will get stretched to this larger size). Here you can choose any image that is representative of your brand, still it is not allowed to use the cover photo as a fan gate replacement, meaning that you cannot include there any call-to-action, point to the like button, price or purchase information, contact info (it should be in the page’s about section), references to Facebook features or actions, such as ‘like’ or ‘share’ or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features, and similar techniques;!/peoplemag

 •real-time ticker: this new element being placed on a top right of the screen will help users see what is happening in real-time, including posts update, photo uploads, comments and friend activity, and will be able to join these activities;

about section: in this section you can show a description of your brand’s identity, an address, and contact info. Once users click on the about link, they can unfold a map and view other basic info;

 •page apps: page owners can now not only highlight custom apps but also update the app icons and names to describe the app purpose. Apps are now replaced from the left navigation sidebar to the right side of the about section. They can include likes, videos, photos, events, home, map and custom apps for your promotions, contests, games, coupons, media, and signup widgets;

 •revamped friends lists: with this new feature it will be easy to see just the updates you care about;

 •better news feed: it will be easy to hide updates you don’t care about from news feed and spot most interesting stories since you last checked Facebook (top stories and recent stories will be in one place);

 •no more fun gates: previously page owners were able to set a default landing tab for non-fans who first visited the page to entice them to like the page and turn into fans. This functionality is no longer available as a default landing page option, because the users will now see the main timeline view instead. The app will still exist, so once linking from your website or elsewhere to your Facebook page, you can link people directly to a particular view or drop them onto the fan gate page;

 •you can star, hide, and pin: this means that users will be able to modify the items in their page’s timeline, making individual stories wider by hover, highlighting them as important with the star icon, hiding them with the pencil icon or deleting from the timeline. Plus page owners will be able to pin or anchor a specific story, marketing offer, remarkable event or promotion to the top of their timeline up to 7 days.

These Facebook changes are still in a beta stage, so we can expect to see bugs that should be worked out. Right now the like button does not refresh the page once being clicked.