Timeline for a change!

Created by Sneha Bedi on Fri 2nd Mar 2012

On the 20th September 2011, Facebook started rolling out to users the option to start using timeline. A few months later in a much anticipated move, Facebook has now extended the Timeline page format to brands, allowing companies to organise their content and information chronologically. Currently pages fucntion in the original format, but will have to adopt the Timeline by 31st March 2012.


The timelines layout for brands is now similar to personal layout, with space for a cover image and timeline to the right of the page. The Page is separated into two main columns by a dividing line, which represents the passage of time. This format provides brands to outline their corporate history with milestones (such as product launches, store openings, etc.) to construct a narrative for their audience.
Facebook have stated that cover images must not contain:

  1. Price or purchase information, such as "40% off" or "Download it at our website"
  2. Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page's About section
  3. References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
    Calls to action, such as "Get it now" or "Tell your friends"

Optimised visibility:

The new Timeline format does not have the left-side panel of links, which could include hundreds of different tabs. While applications still exist, they’ll display differently, in rectangular panels underneath the cover photo. The width of the Timeline and the space allocated for native apps like Photos means that only three tab panels are viewable at any given time. To see more, users must expand the tab panel by clicking a drop-down box.

Views and apps are now easy to find right below your Page's cover. Brands can't change the default landing view to another view or app, but can link people directly to a particular view or app on Page.

This new area of a brand Page is known as 'Views and Apps'. This area makes it easier for visitors to navigate to other areas of the brand's Timeline. The default view will only show four apps, and photos can never be removed from this section. The other three will be able to move around in any order. There is a drop down menu of all other tabs or apps, incase you have more than three. All applications that remain on a brand’s Page will need new application icons (the new dimensions are 111×74).

Content Optimisation:

There’s also increased content optimisation features. Brands will be able to ‘pin’ their most important or relevant content to the top of the page, making it more visible to new and returning visitors. A pinned post will stay at the top of your Timeline for seven days.

Facebook has also made its 'recent message' integration more visible, clearly separating them from regular updates with a clear list of messages, making it faster and easier to respond. Finally, brands will be able to send and receive private messages with users. This allows for much deeper consumer interaction, and will also enable Page managers to take extended customer inquiries off the Timeline and into a private message.

Tab widths:

When creating tabs there is option for two widths, one is a narrow width of 520 pixels or you can opt for a wider width and have 810 pixels. In our opinion, the main benefits of the wider 810 pixel wide frame is that there is now more real estate for apps

Settings for Post Visibility:

In the centre (at the top) of a brand Timeline there is now a drop down menu which gives four options to show posts by the following:

· Highlights

· Friend Activity

· Post by Page

· Posts by Others

The real estate allocated to each post depends on how engaging it is or how much interaction it has received.

The Facebook’s new timeline focuses on design and creating a visual impact. The new design compromises on application visibility but this design definitely focuses on Facebook’s goal of replacing website with pages.