March 30th is fastly approaching, and with it all the Facebook fan pages out there will be converting over to the new Facebook Timeline layout…whether they like it or not.
If you are a Michigan business owner with a current Facebook fan page here is some information to help you along in the switch over process. We will cover the new visual elements of Timelines in regards to dimensions and layout. Read fast, you only have a few days left!
For the example we will be using a fan page we just created for our friends at the Mobile Tire Company. You can see their Facebook Timeline fan page by clicking here:
The first thing you will notice is that the old vertical profile images are done and gone. Before the Timeline update you were given an image that could be a maximum of 180 pixels wide and 540 pixels high. This created vertical banner looking images that were rough to incorporate a logo into as logos tend to be laid out in a horizontal manner. Timelines solves that problem with a large 851 pixel wide by 314 pixel high canvass to work with.
The problem with the old profile images was that while you were making a vertical rectange banner for your page, you were also trying to create something that you could crop in a square shape to appear with your post updates on your wall. This almost always fell short when translating over and you were forced to just accept that it wasn’t going to be perfect. Now inside the main header you are given a 180×180 pixel ‘profile’ image that will appear inside the header to the left. (The stand alone tire in the image above) This makes it easy to have something that scales down to look appealing in the 32×32 wall posts. It does require some arrangement as Facebook still crops off a portion of the image. It wouldn’t be Facebook without something seemingly ridiculous like that happening.
The next big change has to do with the new ‘Tab’ area below the header and profile image. Before this update the tabs were located below the vertical profile banner and the pictures for them there were miniscule to the point that you could only use the most simple of images there. They are now a robust 111 by 74 pixels which gives you room to make something more decorative. They are also fully customizable in that you can click on them and alter the image displayed by an app. This is a nice change as before the ability to customize an image was usually a paid upgrade for an app.
From the strip above you can see the ‘Facebook Coupon’ tab in the strip. The new Timeline update did away with having a fan-gated default landing page. That means you can’t send someone on their first visit to a page that says ‘Like our page to see our special offers’ anymore. Having a coupon page like shown below is still a good way to retain the ability to hold back your specials until the visitor has liked your page.
Why buy the cow if you can get the coupons for free, right?
There were other changes made with the new Timeline fan page update (the ability to send messages as your page, pinning posts, et cetera) but they are all ancillary to the visual changes that will be made mandatory as of March 30th 2012. Those need to be addressed as quickly as possible so as not to have your page butchered by not changing over to the new format before the switch.
By Charles Daniels