A host of new features became available today morning when Facebook opened Facebook Timeline for Pages around the globe the option to upgrade to the Timeline redesign, allowing businesses to express themselves more visually.
All Pages can upgrade to Timeline today, and also have an optional 30 day period to curate before Timeline is forcibly pushed to them on March 30th.
Some new features include the option to "pin posts to the top of the feed for one week," and "receive and respond to private messages" from users. Pages can also upload a big cover image and feature posts from amongst a feed of updates Facebook determines to be the most engaging.
Cover photos for brands are the same size (850 px wide by 315 px ) as those for personal profiles. These images can be changed or updated as often as you would like. According to Facebook:
- Pictures should be creative and engaging; straight promotional material was not as interesting to users on Twitter.
- Brand page cover pictures are not clickable; text links here may confuse fans.
- The pinned content spot is a great place to showcase video.
- Covers must not be false, deceptive or misleading, and must not infringe on third parties' intellectual property. You may not encourage or incentivize people to upload your cover image to their personal timelines.
Admins can add Timeline to their Pages by visiting here. Additionally, Facebook also has video introduction to Timeline for Pages, and the product guide for Timeline for Pagesis embedded below. You can see a live example of Timeline on the Today Show's Page. Page admins should check out my follow-up "How To Use Facebook Timeline For Brand Pages: New Feature Details"
Existing Page APIs will remain intact. Facebook has been working with platform partners like Buddy Media and Vitrue to make sure their tools don't break and can support the new functionality.
A new admin panel and Activity Log lets Pages see a quick view of their Insights data, respond to inbound private messages, and feature, hide, or delete posts.
Timeline for Pages is not visible from mobile yet, but will be soon.
In order to acitvate Timeline, visit the Timeline for Pages preview manager and select to add Timeline to your Pages. You'll then enter a curation period where only your Page's admins can see Timeline, while everyone else including your fans will see the old design. Click the "Publish Now" button atop your Page to start showing off Timeline to everyone. You can upgrade anytime until March 30th, 2012, at which Timeline will automatically become publicly visible for all of your Pages.
Here's how they work, and how to use them to benefit your business?
Pages Overview Guide
Pages Product Guide
Learning Facebook Pages
During the fmc, Facebook announced five new advertising products:
- Offers – Provides brands with the opportunity to share discounts and promotions with their fans free of charge
- Log-out ads – The log-out page will now be a digital billboard for advertisements
- News Feed ads/News Feed ads on mobile devices - Although the News Feed ads have been around since January, they officially launched yesterday
- Ads on the right-hand side of users' homepage - Again, even though they officially launched yesterday, these ads have been being tested since last year
Facebook also issued the following statement regarding Premium ads:
"Premium ads and Sponsored Stories on Facebook can now appear in two new places: on the Facebook log-out Page and mobile News Feed. Sponsored Stories for mobile News Feed increase the visibility of stories related to a business or organization to help Pages share their fans' activities. Offers are a free and easy way for businesses to share special discounts and promotions to their community through Facebook. Offers let a business share a discount or promotion directly from a Facebook Page."