If your organization has a Facebook page take a good look at it now because the current layout is about to become a thing of the past. Facebook rolled out the previews for the new Timeline for Pages on Wednesday and will force all Facebook Pages to make the switch on March 30.
If your an administrator of your Facebook page you’ll see a notice like the one pictured below. Once you click the preview button you’ll have a chance to poke around and see what the new look will mean for your particular page.
Cover Image: The most obvious change about the Timeline is the use of the big header image (Facebook calls this a “cover” image) and this is identical to what has been rolled out for personal Facebook profiles for several months now. The specs to get your cover image the correct dimensions are 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall and must be a minimum of 399 pixels wide.
App Changes: One of the other big changes looks to be with apps. I’m seeing good and bad things here. On the down side, Facebook is going to limit the number of apps a visitor to your Facebook page can see from the outset. You’re only going to get two or three options maximum. On the upside, however, once people visit the app page, Facebook is giving you a lot more space to do whatever you want. The new pages for apps are much bigger than the old ones and that will be helpful for many app providers. If you’re not big on apps for Facebook this won’t matter to you very much. If, however, you’re like one of my clients who has a mini retail store on a Facebook app, this is actually a welcome improvement.
Logo Size: Whereas Facebook is increasing the space for app pages, it’s shrinking the space for you company logo. I’ve noticed several of my client’s logos are stretched or pixelated in the new look. I can’t find any details about the best size
Two Column Look: As with the Timeline for personal profiles, the new look involves the two column wall rather than the single column wall we’ve been accustomed to seeing. Most people I talk to (and I agree with this assessment) find the two columns hard to read but Facebook seems intent on sticking with this for now so there’s not much to do about it. On the bright side, the dual column gives more real estate to feature recent comments which might help drive further engagement on the site.
Stats For The Public: Facebook is all about giving information away and they’re giving more of your Facebook stats away for the general public to see in this iteration. As you can see in the screenshot below, the public will now be able to see more than how many “Likes” a page has and how many people are talking about the page.
Whether you like these changes or not, they’re coming soon. You have a month to get ready for it and I know a lot of people are scrambling to put out good information about it quickly so there won’t be a lack of resources to make sure you know everything you need for a smooth transition.
I’d recommend you go ahead and prepare to make the change and pull the trigger as soon as you’re ready. The new look is certainly more visually appealing so you might as well jump over to it sooner rather than later.
It’s yet to be seen what this will mean for fan engagement and conversation but as with other changes we’ve seen to Facebook in the past, if you’re doing all the right things to seek to connect with people and draw them into conversation, you’re going to be fine. If you’re not doing that with Facebook then the design change is the least of your Facebook concerns.