Earlier this week Facebook announced they’re implementing an update to the timeline design for pages stating the changes create a “streamlined look for pages”.  You can read the full announcement here and see a sample layout here.  Essentially we’re moving back to a one column design and all the tabs below the cover photo will now be highlighted to the left of the status update column.

I do like that the photos and videos tabs will be given more emphasis and visibility on the left side however it appears that this one column format will eliminate the ability to highlight a post and have it span the width of the page and if that’s the case I’ll be sad to see that go.  Coming from a tourist destination, a lot of my clients heavily feature visually appealing photos and the highlight feature has been a nice way to emphasize scenery, product displays etc.  Perhaps Facebook has another idea for this, it’s hard to tell in the sample provided.

In addition it’s important to note that the Like, Follow, Share buttons that were previously located just under the cover photo are now going to be over the bottom right corner of the cover photo. This may impact the images and layout of the cover photo for some pages as you now have the profile pic over the bottom left and buttons over the bottom right.  It appears the profile picture is moving up into the cover photo more as well.  I believe this will cause many page owners to need to adjust their cover photos when the new timeline releases.  Here’s a look at the difference between the old and new cover photos:

Old Facebook Timeline cover photo

Old Facebook Timeline Cover Photo

 

New Facebook Timeline Cover Photo

New Facebook Timeline Cover Photo

The new layout also focuses on easier access to key admin tools and puts them right there on the timeline for admins to see.  It also puts greater emphasis on the Pages to Watch feature available in Insights. Honestly this isn’t a draw for me at all.  Unless they change the feature so that pages don’t know they have been added to a ‘Pages to Watch’ list then most of my clients (myself included) aren’t utilizing this feature.  As I outlined in my Facebook Pages to Watch blog post the Pages to Watch feature allows a page to add a competitor or company they are interested in tracking to a special list called the Pages to Watch. A page owner can then see how they’re stacking up against these other businesses without having to add them to their newsfeed.  It sounds great, the problem with this function is that when you add a page to the list, it notifies the business that you’ve added them to your pages to watch list.  Sort of defeats the purpose of watching them in stealth mode!

So be on the look out, next time you log into your Facebook Business Page you just may see a whole new layout.  I’m curious what you think of it. Take some time to play around with it, then leave me a comment here on this post or over on our Facebook page.  Of course we’re always here to help.