Facebook Page Timeline Redesign: The One Important Change

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facebook page timeline redesign one important change Facebook Page Timeline Redesign: The One Important Change

[AUDIO VERSION: I also recorded an audio version of this blog post. Click below to listen. Let me know if this is something you find helpful!]

Facebook has started rolling out a new streamlined design of Timeline for pages to be more consistent with profile design as well as on mobile.

new facebook page timeline design Facebook Page Timeline Redesign: The One Important Change

First of all, note that the redesign of profiles happened more than a year ago. See my response then as I verbalized my concerns regarding whether this would be applied to brands.

This is actually something that was first tested for brands many, many months ago. So those of us who have been paying attention are more than prepared.

The change is mostly cosmetic. Facebook is moving information into different places, but they really aren’t creating anything new.

What you’ve likely heard most about is the disappearance of Facebook tabs. But even that, in my opinion, isn’t that big of a deal (again, I mentioned that over a year ago!).

Let’s take a quick look at the changes were made before getting to what I believe will be the most important update that has the most potential for positive impact.

An Overview of Changes

1) Single Column Format for Posts: Your Timeline is now on the right hand column, so you’ll no longer need to go back and forth to see posts on the left and right.

new facebook page timeline design single column Facebook Page Timeline Redesign: The One Important Change

2) Left Column for Business Info: The left-hand column will include details about your business. Here you’ll see things like number of page likes, a map (if you have one), website address, hours of operation, contact info, friends who like your page, the “About” info, photos and videos.

new facebook page timeline design left column Facebook Page Timeline Redesign: The One Important Change

3) Easy Access to Admin Tools: In the past, there was a panel at the top that pushed everything down. It’s actually quite annoying. Now you’ll get an admin navigation at the top that includes things like Page, Activity (notifications), Insights, Settings, Build Audience and Help. This navigation will exist no matter where you are within the page.

new facebook page timeline design navigation Facebook Page Timeline Redesign: The One Important Change

4) This Week: On the right hand side, you’ll see a quick overview of the number of ads running, number of page likes and post reach for the current week, number of unread messages and notifications.

new facebook page timeline design this week Facebook Page Timeline Redesign: The One Important Change

5) Tabs Buried: Your tabs no longer exist as boxes immediately below your cover photo. They are now accessed within a “More” drop-down.

new facebook page timeline design tabs buried Facebook Page Timeline Redesign: The One Important Change

No, the Tabs Update Isn’t a Big Deal

You probably thought that my “one important change” would be regarding tabs. No, it’s not.

As I discussed over a year ago now, I don’t think this is a big deal. Yes, I think tabs are valuable for first impressions and acquisition when users come to your page for the first time.

But after that, only 2% of your fans ever return to your page. So if you don’t drive traffic to them, they make very little impact.

The key to the success of tabs was and will continue to be your ability to drive traffic to them. Use organic posts that drive people there. Create ads that drive people there, too.

The loss of tabs may actually increase engagement since your content will now be immediately below your cover photo. So there is a positive impact to consider here.

One Change That’ll Make the Biggest Impact

The changes I’ve mentioned so far are all cosmetic. They’re nice. The new design looks cleaner, and it’ll make management of pages easier.

But the one change I’m most excited about is a very minor detail…

new facebook page timeline design weekly post reach Facebook Page Timeline Redesign: The One Important Change

I’ve said repeatedly that we obsess far too much over post-by-post Reach. It just isn’t that important.

But that’s been mainly Facebook’s fault. They throw that number at us at every turn, so it’s natural that we react the minute one post seems to be reaching fewer people.

The truth is that we should be posting multiple times per week — and hopefully multiple times per day. As a result, our focus should be more on the number of people we’re reaching during a given day or week (if we focus on Reach at all).

I tend to have a Daily Total Reach that is about 5-10 times that of the Total Reach of an individual post, and Weekly Total Reach is about 50-100 times.

Now, this is also influenced by advertising, so it would be helpful if Facebook would instead show us the Weekly Organic Reach (mine is closer to 10 times that of an individual post). But I remain optimistic this change is being made.

I’m holding out hope that this will help shift the perception of marketers away from their post-by-post Reach and towards larger sample sizes. Given user behavior and the fact that it’s impossible — filtering algorithm or not — to reach a high percentage of fans with a single post, this shift is necessary.

Your Turn

What do you think about these changes? Which do you think is most important?

Let me know in the comments below!

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About Jon Loomer

Jon Loomer is a digital marketing consultant with a unique perspective on social media. He was introduced to Facebook in 2007 while with the NBA (back before Pages) and has been using Facebook for business ever since. Stay in touch by liking his Facebook Page (Jon Loomer Digital).

  • Luke Martinez

    Hey Jon,
    Do you happen to know if the dimensions of the cover photo have changed because of the transition?

    Thanks!

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      There are definitely some changes. When I have the new design myself, I’ll be updating my dimensions infographic.

      • Sarah Pinnix

        This is my biggest issue because we’ll have to re-design 8 cover images and make sure the bottom of the photo is dark enough for the white lettering to show. Not too drastic of a change, though.

        • http://www.tenzingsamdup.com/ Tenzing Samdup

          It looks like they’re doing the same as personal profiles by putting an gradient automatically at the bottom of your cover photo so you shouldn’t have to worry too much about this :)

          Otherwise just set up an Action on Photoshop for one cover photo and it should save you tons of time!

          • Sarah Pinnix

            Thanks! Good tip.

    • Angie

      hi hi,
      I need urgent help.
      I think my page just got rolled out with the new timeline. However, the left column is blank in IE. Anyone has this problem and know how to resolve it?
      Also with this change, does anyone know the script to display latest posts on a website?
      thanks for your help.
      Angie

  • http://jonrtaylor.com Jon Taylor

    Jon,

    As always, top-notch information. I was wondering if you know whether Facebook has gotten rid of Posts by Page, Posts by Others, and Highlights?

    Thanks!

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Haven’t heard anything, Jon. Can’t confirm until I have it!

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Oh, I do believe they are getting rid of Highlights and will show everything.

      • http://jonrtaylor.com Jon Taylor

        If this is true, that is bad news. Oh, man. Let’s hope moderation gets easier…

  • http://socialweblearning.com/ Sheila Hensley

    So glad I saw your explanation first! You take the drama out of all these changes. Love that! Thanks.

  • http://www.TimberleyJones.com/ Timberley Jones

    Oooo lalala thanks for this audio. Many of my clients freak out over post by post stats when one post doesn’t do as well as others. So this is a better approach, collecting data over time. Plus relationships are not built on one post.
    I have always compared the tab apps area to a pair of undies. Always make sure they are pretty and presentable and nobody goes there unless you invite them. So this is cool. Don’t have to worry about the tiny little 111 x 74 image anymore.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Love the undies comparison!

  • Lucy Parsons

    Thanks. Great perspective.

  • CITE / John

    You should have a big picture of your face with DON’T PANIC on it, and just post that every time there’s a Facebook change. No, seriously. Thanks for such good info all the time, man.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      HAH!

  • John-Michael

    Thanks! The audio post was helpful. I was able to listen while poking around on my Facebook page.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/nataliamatthews Natalia A Matthews

    Jon, Once again, you take the pain away. @Timberley:disqus…the ‘undies’ reference made my day!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sgravalli Sgravalli Fashion Jewellery

    Jon,

    First of all, I have been reading the same FB page redesign news from other experts that I follow, but I have to say, your review is most comprehensible, you know; delivered to us on a silver platter! :)

    So thank you so much for taking the time to explain it so well.

    I love all the changes that are coming, I can totally see how much easier will be to manage the page because of its improved organisation. I actually love the new tab order, even what we have today has a drop down menu, so no big deal. New design looks like a standalone website, I think it would be easier also for people to navigate through, and what I love the most is that they have separated Videos from Photos in the menu line. I have read your recent post on how you are not experiencing drop in organic reach, well, it did impact my page with significantly declined reach, and, I have discovered, that every time I upload a video (instead of photo or even the YouTube link to the same video of mine), it drives much more organic reach AND engagement every time. A lot more than any other type of posts. Going forward, I will be focusing on making more videos and I like the fact that any visitor now, can get to them with one click away.
    Once again, thanks so much for all the updates and learnings that you share!
    Cheers!
    Olja

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Thanks! For the record, I never said I haven’t seen a drop in Organic Reach. I just don’t care about it. I focus on other metrics — specifically link clicks — that are steady.

      I’d just make sure that when you measure success that the metrics you use are in line with the goal of the post. General engagement, for example, is always going to slant with photos or possibly video. But if you want traffic, you should still share a link.

      • http://www.facebook.com/sgravalli Sgravalli Fashion Jewellery

        Thanks Jon! I got it!
        Yes, I am aiming for more engagement right now. Once I build my stand-alone site, then I`ll care for more traffic to that site. At the moment, my FB page is my main platform, and I`d like to expand out of that asap…

  • Francisco Mingote

    Jon, great post!

    I totally agree with your thoughts about the organic traffic of the page apps, but anyway for me that last redesign has many bad things, like:

    1. Direct Message button, now this button will be nested to the three dots (next to the “Liked” button). This is bad, it loss visibility and direct message is a really good feature for many marketers.
    2. Custom images for Page Apps, now this feature doesn’t exist anymore and it is bad for many marketers, lot of users arrives to the fan page for many ways and the image helps you to drive traffic to your apps.
    Anyway at least through the API you will be able to order the links. Timeline and About are permanent but the two others you can replace for your custom apps, so you can continue getting two apps (now links) visible.
    3. Highlight posts (two columns), many marketers commonly highlight one photo post per week, that feature is also dead now.

    Thanks again for your post, they are really useful!
    Cheers,

  • http://www.michelinebourque.com/ Micheline Bourque

    Thanks Jon. What would we do without you! Do you know if the option to leave a recommendation (star system) will be taken off.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      I doubt it! This is a pretty important feature for Facebook — not just for brands.

  • Sergio Bermejo

    Hi Jon, great audio post!!! Make it easier to read after 10 hours working…
    Just one question. don’t you think that posting several times daily (more than two) could get people bored? And because of that , unlike the fanpage. Thanks!

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      The typical fan isn’t sitting on Facebook for 12 hours. The typical fan is on every other day and then only 30 minutes or so. The likelihood of “boring” your fans with multiple posts is small.

      Well, don’t be boring, too!

  • Prasad Dhamnaskar

    All changes are good but One flaw in redesign; Custom Tabs wont be primarily visible to users, it would be in more section :(

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Looks like this has changed, actually.

      • Prasad Dhamnaskar

        yeah

  • Sara Piccola

    Jon it looks like Facebook has already made a minor change to the redesign and apps are currently displayed on the left hand side under the about section (in addition to under the More button). Not sure if they’ll stay there, they weren’t there this morning but they’re there now. We’re waiting for more businesses to get the redesign to see what the “final’ product is. https://www.facebook.com/marketing

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Saw that!

      • http://www.socialidentities.com Hugh Briss

        Might be a good idea to edit the post then, no?

  • Josh P Greenberg

    What if you wanted to measure aggregate reach across a custom time period, say a calendar month? If you go outside FBs daily, weekly, 28 day metrics are you no longer getting unique viewers?

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Correct

      • Josh P Greenberg

        That’s a bummer. Thanks for the help Jon!

  • http://www.spiderworking.com/ Amanda Webb

    Whenever Facebook changes something this big I sigh because I have to change all my training material! The new design isn’t as pretty as the old one but if it’s easier to navigate that will be good news for users. It’s an interesting tactic to make the monthly reach prominent, I wonder is that a bid to stop people panicing about dropping reach?

  • Pat Farren

    I agree with your point that the tabs is not a big issue.Nobody ever clicks on them and fact that they are not even visible on mobile makes them really not worth the effort.

    • Paul Bearer

      Not true at all, they are visible on mobile if you link to them.

  • http://tarletonecampus.blogspot.com Dr. Anthony C. Edwards

    Do you think these changes along with algorithm changes will help Facebook become more relevant in real-time conversation like Twitter? Many eople and brands flock to Twitter during live events like the Oscars, sporting events, and popular TV shows.

  • http://dreamosity.com/ Dreamosity

    As someone who loves running ads, I love #4 with the “This Week” data. I’m hoping they give a short link to the ads dashboard, too!

  • Jenny

    Great post! Will the “like,” “message,” etc. buttons now be ON the profile picture?

  • http://www.sabrinacompany.com Sabrina Espinal

    I will take it one step further and say….everyone’s posts should be driving people to their websites and to their sign-up boxes and to their services page and to their shopping page and to Amazon to buy their books…forget about the tabs!!!

  • techtagtoe

    Hi Jon, I feel like the new change affected in a negative way to my traffic from FB. Is it possible that the new design only lets people look at 1 post before scrolling down and before you could see at least 3? Or am I just crazy?

  • http://www.antoniocalero.com/ Antonio Calero

    I was not concerned about the lack of tabs either, although visually they could provide a great branding opportunity (e.g.: to complement the ‘touch and feel’ of your logo, or cover image). However @Emeric from Agora Pulse has published right today in his blog an article with a screenshot of Facebook for Business’ Page, where the tabs are included… Perhaps not a bad thing after all.

  • http://jonrtaylor.com Jon Taylor

    One of my pages just updated! If anyone has questions, I can try and answer them.

    Initial impressions? I love it.

    • Paul Bearer

      I agree except for the cover photo and inability to change order of tabs.

    • Shenae

      Hey, just wondering if the “people talking about” is still on your page?

  • Paul Bearer

    Another important change is the cover photo. It now has copy inside it you can’t change, so you must adjust accordingly. It forces you to use less copy, otherwise it looks to cluttered.

    So far there is also no way to adjust the tab ordering or change the order (as reported) just under the cover photos.

  • Angela JIANG

    I don’t think these changes have a big impact on
    usability and attracting new users. The most important thing for me is whether
    Facebook can keep its promises as shown in the policy regarding privacy issues.
    Facebook could also think of allowing users to have different privacy settings
    for different photos/articles. As a result, users can decide who can see which
    content.
    Plus, for post-by-post reach, Facebook would instead show us the post with the most reach and the
    headline of the most popular post daily. In this way, it can help marketers better
    benchmark each fancy post, and indeed guide content strategies to better
    serve the target audience.

    • Connie Dexter Spicer

      You know, I might agree with you, if we were talking about personal profiles here. But we are talking about business pages as opposed to a personal page. What business doesn’t want to grow? If we want our business to grow or expand, then our issues with privacy are a non-issue in my estimation. Plus, as with all good things, if we take the time to go through all the settings when we first initiate our page, then the appropriate settings should be well in place.

      My businesses are both still queued for the change. Haven’t kicked in yet. I just tend to go with the flow and if I have a concern, I’ll take it up. In the meantime, I just don’t see what there is to be alarmed about. I want people to “know my business”. My personal profile is my own business.

  • http://www.shop.graciousstore.com/ Gracious Store

    So the new FB time line allows brands to display information about their businesses as they woulld in loca directories like foursquare.This sounds good

  • Lauren Rohr

    Love your blog Jon! Always a wealth of valuable information. Question for you – wondering if you could expand on your recommendation to post several times per day, as opposed to a few times a week? On the pages I manage, we’ve been posting 3-4 times per week, and then paying to promote those posts for multiple days at a time. Since organic reach has decreased so much, I have a hard time justifying posting more often if we’re just going to have to pay for people to see these additional posts. Would love your thoughts!

  • Eric Rico Martinez

    The biggest change I am noticing is losing the ability to highlight someone’s post and add it to the timeline without using the “share” function. At least, I haven’t found a way to do that.

  • Tyrsiariel

    Hi, is there anyone that can tell me when these redesign will be visible on the FB Pages? Is there an official date?

  • Modi Kwanza

    Thanks for the explainer. However, I am still trying to figure something out in the new design. In IE, when logged in as our page the left column is blank, no about info, nor sections like people, apps. Any tips on how to get them to show or is that just a function of not logging in as a “human.”

  • Victoria

    My page still has not migrated to this new design. Is there any way I can speed it up?

    • kera mchugh

      lol – don’t rush it… it’s icky!! :) I cannot believe how much turmoil facebook has put us thru in the past 24 months only to land us almost exactly back to where we started… seriously… how much different is this “new” design than it was 2-3 years ago?

    • ch

      You don’t want to migrate. You want to hide from it.

  • JB

    What is the new size for timeline photos?

  • Manish Patwa

    How can i check who all gave the review to my business page according to new timeline. I can see overall review, but previously i could also see each and every review

  • Jan

    Tx for the info Jon. Why is my timeline empty after my Facebook page has been upgraded ?

    Other people see more than I do. If I add something new to my timeline, others do see it but I don’t.

  • OPCA

    We are not too happy about the new timeline eliminating the highlight feature that allowed a post/photo to be spread across the full width of the page (across two columns in the old version). Many of our subscribers enjoyed seeing today’s featured photo across both columns… and so did the featured photographers.

  • Angelo

    One thing I can’t seem to figure out… The ‘About’ section on my timeline currently only shows my website, how do I get other information to appear there?

  • paulo_ray

    How to get the number of people “talking about this” in the new Facebook Timeline? It is not showing anymore.

  • https://www.facebook.com/#!/yonahcd?fref=nf Yonah C D

    also, cannot access timeline by year and MONTH, only by year, which makes it almost useless.

  • theartistrandall

    The most important change, for me is not being able to share posts with fan pages. This change has not effected all my fan pages, only 3 out of 5. When I share posts to my fan page it does not appear on the fan page. I found out that there is a small gray arrow on the left hand side that takes you to a place called, posts to page. For these posts to be on my fan page, I then have to switch users to my fan page and share it again to the same fanpage. Not fun!

    • kera mchugh

      yep – this is extremely annoying… how do we build engagement if our “fans” can’t share in a noticeable way on the page? and also, if i’m cruising and find something of interest that i want to share on my page, and i select “share on a page you manage” from an FB share box… it NEVER ends up on the darn page itself… what is the point?? I really hope that it’s just me and I’m missing something….

      • ch

        I would bet that it’s not you. This is a crap change to FB for fan pages. Fan postings are at a crawl since July 4. In recognition of July 4, I’d like to liberate myself from this mess of a change.

  • Tsenka Stoyanova

    One question? Can i have the old look for my page back? My ppl don’t like the new look.

  • ch

    I HATE THIS CHANGE. It is terrible for fan pages, inconvenient, and no longer user-friendly. It now takes several steps to do what took ONE step before July 4, the day we dumped the British. I feel like the British have just slapped us back in the face. We should be given an OPTION of picking the old layout or the new. The new layout may be good for business (don’t know–haven’t a clue) but it’s TERRIBLE for fan pages, and our traffic has slowed way down. It’s crawling! No one at our site likes this change.

  • Nicoel

    I want my two column facebook format back. How do I do this? Can anyone help? I hat the one column format.

  • London Photo Tours & Workshops

    Some of our posts to page by others do not show up on our page – only 2 post by others are visible. In our activity log, the majority of posts by others have disappeared. Older posts by others from 2011 and later are there. Has anyone else experienced this? Do we know if missing posts will return to our pages?

    • Mike Smith

      I think so. I have not been able to use the share feature like I have in the past. I have a school page and we like to share news articles from the local paper or other pages. These shared posts or links do not appear on the main page anymore.

  • Mike Smith

    Wondering about the share feature….anyone else lose the capability to share from other pages. Anything that I share does not post directly on to my school’s main timeline anymore.

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