What’s Changing With Facebook’s New Timeline Fan Pages

Anyone who runs marketing programs via a Facebook page collectively grimaced yesterday morning upon seeing the news that Facebook pages would be completely changing, and then change would be mandatory in 30 short days. The new Facebook fan page design, which is very similar to the profile Timeline, is already available for all businesses to implement on Facebook pages. There will be amazing new features to take advantage of, and this will make the change worth it. Here’s what you need to know about the changes you’ll need to make to prepare for the automatic upgrade:

1. No more custom default landing pages

The change: Previously, you could create like-gated content as one of your Facebook tabs, and set this as the default tab that non-fans would see upon visiting your fan page. This would encourage them to like your fan page to receive whatever content was initially hidden to them. Facebook is taking away this setting to show a tab as your default landing pages; now fans and non-fans alike will land on your Timeline.

The solution: Your like-gated content will still work as intended, and you will be able to pin stories to the top of their Timeline. So create a story promoting your exclusive offer available to fans only, and link to your gated content tab! Yes, it requires an extra click for fans to see your fancy gated tab, but as long as you’re smart about the messaging on the Timeline, they should be intrigued enough to click through.

2. Tab page maximum width is changing

The change: Custom tabs and landing pages used to have a max width of 520px. This max width is changing to 810px.

The solution: Bask in the glory of more area to promote your great content! There’s no rush to modify these tabs if you don’t have a time; nothing will break on your current tabs. You’ll just have a lot more space to work with going forward.

3. Photo Stream is changing to Cover Photo

The change: You used to be able to have five images at the top of your fan page, called a photo stream. This photo stream is going away, and will be replaced by a cover photo.

old facebook page photo stream

The solution: This cover photo will give you a greater opportunity to show off your brand. For pages, the cover photo dimensions are 851 x 315 pixels.  However, there are a few things to keep in mind about this space. According to Facebook’s official policies, cover photos cannot include:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website.”
  • Contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your 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.
  • Calls-to-action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”
  • Covers must not be false, deceptive or misleading, and must not infringe on third parties’ intellectual property.

4. Tabs are changing to highlighted apps

The change: Instead of having tabs appear as a top-navigation element, tabs, or the applications you had set up for your tabs, will appear as the photo stream once did.

new facebook page tabs

The solution:  You can edit the image that represents each of these former “tabs” in your Views & Apps toolbar.  To customize the way these apps appear on your page, visit the Admin Panel, click Manage, and choose Edit Page from the dropdown menu. In the Apps section, click Edit Settings for the specific app image. Then you can upload the new image you’d like to use to feature that app (dimensions should be 111 x 74 pixels). Choose or create an image that clearly conveys what’s on that tab; you can even create a call to action leading to your like-gated content.

5. New administrator panel

The change: The administrator panel has undergone a massive facelift, and this is a good thing. You can now access all your administrator tools from the Admin Panel button at the top-right of your screen.

new facebook page admin panel

The solution: Start exploring the administrator panel now so that you’re used to it soon. Here are some of the new features available to you:

  • Track all of your fan page activity in one place
  • Respond to fans when they post to your Timeline
  • Set different permissions for each of your fan page administrators
  • Receive and respond to private messages from fans

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