Facebook announced yesterday that business and fan pages will now be converted to the “Timeline” lay out that was introduced to personal pages last year. We believe that this has the potential to be a great move for your organization and your Facebook store. Your business will be given until March 30th to convert to the new format. Just a helpful tip, we don’t recommend you convert too soon. There are some early reports of bugs so give Facebook time to work out a few kinks in the new system. Currently we are working on making the move for our business page to the new timeline format and update our application. As things evolve over the next couple of weeks, we will post blogs updates that will hopefully answer any questions that may impact your business page or store.
A few store highlights:
First, the current ShopTab application will work inside of the new Timeline format. We haven’t had a chance to optimize the ShopTab graphical layout but we’ve had a chance to test the core application features. Everything works so you won’t lose any of your social selling momentum if you convert in the near-feature. The only exception so far is the fan-gate or like-gate feature. From the webinars we’ve attended they have announced they will support this functionality, but many application providers are not able to make it work at this time. Additionally, while it wasn’t a ShopTab feature, the ability to make the store the default page for your Facebook page is gone too – this won’t come back. They want this new home page to be the default page at all times.
The most important part of the timeline will be your home page layout. The good news is that applications like ShopTab have a much higher profile on your page – just below the cover image on the right. You want to make sure that your “Shop” application is visible on the top row and not hidden in the drop down button in this section. The apps section will allow some user flexibility with a new feature that allows you to customize your app image. We’ll provide a new default image to fit the new size but you can create your own. In order to make sure your Shop app appears in the top row, you may click the edit Shop button which will allow you to control placement. We’ll update our FAQ’s with some step-by-step directions on how to do this in the next few days. We have been told you can have up to 12 applications on your business page but we have recently seen a site that has 29 applications.
While the effort on our own Facebook business page is in progress, we have started to work on our timeline layout along with ways to make the expanded width available to our store clients. Given the 810 pixel width for the application page, an increase of almost 300 pixels, you should see improved layout options that can take advantage of the added space for the merchandising your products and services.
Another helpful suggestion that we can offer is to move the application button that displays your “likes” to the second or third row. With the new timeline lay out anyone will be able to view the “Insights” engagement data for your page by clicking on your “like” button. It isn’t possible to eliminate this button but if you don’t want people to see your data you may want to place it so it isn’t so prominent on your page by moving down to the 2nd or 3rd row.
Facebook disclosed these changes to very few organizations prior to yesterday’s announcement so don’t get too stressed. Like many changes from Facebook, we could see some modification in the coming days. We are very enthusiastic about the possibilities with the new layout and expect to announce some new and exciting changes in the coming weeks. In the meantime to inspire your design ideas, here are a few links for companies that launched with the new timeline format:
Additionally, here is a link on Facebook Timeline Changes that may answer many technical questions that you have.
We look forward to keeping you posted as we learn more. In the meantime, post your question here or on our Facebook page and we’ll answer you with all that we know.