Three Things Brands Hate About Facebook Timeline

We spoke last week about Facebook Brand Pages converting to Timeline. We are in the process of preparing our new Facebook Brand Page and the Pages of our clients. There are several things to consider, including the new cover image, an expanded description area, and customizable tab icons.

While we were sitting and considering these things, it became apparent that many brands dislike several things about the new Timeline, which is the forced format starting March 30. The list of things is fairly long (as is the list of positives) but here we’re just going to talk about the real “game changing” issues that come with Timeline.

First, brands will not be able to have a custom landing tab, removing features such as a like gate and direct promotions. Many have stated that they will use the new cover image as a pseudo promotional piece. Tisk tisk. Be sure to read your terms of usage: “This space is not meant for promotions, coupons, or advertisements. Your cover photo should not be primarily text-based or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. It cannot include references to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features. It also cannot include contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information. It cannot encourage others to use your image on personal Timelines.” In other words, there’s very little point.

Second, custom tabs are now wider (which is a good thing) but anything you’ve previously designed will need to be changed. Further, you can only spotlight (dimly) three of these tabs. That’s less than half of what was available previously. Users can dig around the tabs deck to find all of your features, but this is unlikely. Facebook admins will probably adopt a policy of rotating tabs into and out of the spotlight area on some timed interval. There’s no “automatic” way of doing this as of yet.

Lastly, Brand Pages categorized as local businesses need to choose between sets of contact information — you can’t have it all. So, what’s more important: a website address, a physical address, a phone number, an email address, a business description…? They’re ALL important. However, there’s only room for three of these things in the featured about area. Again, we anticipate a rotation policy that will need to be done manually.

Hamptons Creative Group is hard at work preparing and testing Timeline for our clients’ pages. We’re designing workarounds for some of the many drawbacks inherent in the Timeline design. Contact us to learn more about what we’re doing.

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