Facebook’s new profile; the Timeline.

Like it or not, Facebook is rolling out a new profile.

This is, you guessed it, a timeline. It snaps your Facebook posts to a timeline that extends to the bottom of the page, with quick access in the upper right-hand corner, just beneath the menu bar. While we can all foresee the mumbling and grumbling about the new changes, we should also think about the uses for this. It’s a great way to turn yourself into a brand, which is getting more and more popular now. It’s also a wonderful way for businesses to lose some of the anonymity and focus on putting themselves in the public’s field of vision as a more personable resource. For some companies, this means constant updates and actual conversations with customers in a forum that isn’t always completely public; private messages can now be sent between company and customer without the hassle of trying to find that elusive contact information on the company website. It also means that companies will be on Facebook a lot more, which can be a little creepy if used incorrectly.

The timeline closely resembles the one used for personal profiles, meaning that the transition from personal page to company page won’t be like turning the bright lights on after staring at the soft glow of your screen for several hours. It also means that you won’t have to completely relearn where all the new stuff goes and how the old stuff gets organized. You do lose the left menu that you keep all your links on, they’ve converted that into a bar across the page that rests under your cover photo (which is 850×315), so you’re incredibly limited to what you can show there. Your users can see what all you have in there by clicking the drop down box, but until they do you’re limited to showing a maximum of three tab panels at once. Which will mean a lot more thought is going to have to go into the posts you want to show.

With the timeline you also lose the ability to set a landing page for your customers, so when they click one your page they go straight to the front page. You do gain the ability to ‘pin’ posts though so, say you have one really great post, the get’s great responses; you can pin that post to your front page, where it will remain pinned for seven days. You can re-pin it after that, but you can only have one post pinned at a time, so you might want to pick a few favorites and rotate them, giving your visitors new content when they come to your page.

You’re also going to need to update your application icons with something that’s 111×72 pixels, to go with the new display method. Overall, this new layout means you’ll be spending more and more time monitoring and updating your Facebook, and not your personal one.

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