Facebook has been in the process of converting all their Profiles and Pages to the New Timeline Feature. The Facebook Timeline compiles your collection of photos, stories, and experiences that tell your story. After today, all Profiles and Pages will be converted. The reactions have been mixed although few have been looking forward to the change. Last month I conducted an informal survey on this blog to gauge reactions to the change. The following highlights the features unique to the new Facebook Timeline, tips on using them and reactions from my survey.
Cover is the large photo at the top of your Timeline above your profile picture. Like your profile picture, cover images are public, which means anyone visiting your timeline will be able to see it.
According to Facebook, the purpose of the Cover is it “helps people learn more about you. It also helps us prevent spam, fake profiles, and other content that can detract from your experience on Facebook.”
The advantage is now you can upload an image without it being cropped to fit the Profile Photo size. Just remember this image is public so don’t post anything you wouldn’t want the entire planet to see. For businesses, it gives you the opportunity to “show” more about what it is you do. In an informal survey I conducted, most liked the Cover. The Cover is 851px width x 315px height. If you upload an image smaller than that size, it will be stretched to fit. The image has to be at least 399px width.
You can scroll through your timeline, or use the menu of dates on the right side of your timeline to jump from year to year. You get to decide what stays on your timeline, but you have to click on “hide post” for each one you want removed.
In an informal survey I conducted, what most disliked about this is that Facebook prioritizes what’s shown or not shown until you manually click on “hide the post” to eliminate it, also that someone can easily stalk your life by just gliding through your past. One respondent said, “I can’t find anything. Facebook made finding things harder when they decided that they knew what important posts were, and with Timeline they’ve made it nigh on impossible.” Shari Sternberger shared what she didn’t like about the Timeline feature “Layout – “book” style – too busy. Plus, should have option to “turn” on years of history if you WANT it…not a default of MUST have.”
For businesses, however, it can highlight important news from your business and track dates of your previous events.
Your Activity Log is a tool that lets you review and manage everything you share on Facebook. Only you can see your activity log. All your stories are organized by the date they happened on Facebook. This means when you add a life event to your timeline, it will show up in your Activity Log on the day you added that event, not the day of the event itself. By default, your Activity Log shows your activity from the current year, starting with your most recent activity. The Activity Log is a feature only on your Profile not on Pages.
Toward the top of your Timeline are boxes that show you a summary of your activity during a specific month. These summaries can include the friends you connected with, events you attended, pages that you liked, and places you visited during that month. This allows you to reflect on the past month’s activities.
Star Stories You Want to Highlight
Above each post you will see a Star when you rollover it says “Highlight”, this allows you to highlight the stories you think are important. When you star a story, the story expands to widescreen. Starred stories are also always visible on your timeline. This feature is particularly beneficial to businesses that want those landing on their Page to focus in on a particular post.
Pin to the Top
Pin to the Top is a feature that appears only in Page timelines not on your Profile. Pin to the Top allows you to select one post to appear at the very top left of your Timeline and has a flag in its top-right corner. This pinned post will remain there for 7 days. After that, it’ll return to the date it was posted on the Page’s timeline. So if you have a post you want to display prominently, you can use the Pin to the Top feature. This is great for businesses that want to display a promotion, sale or event for a whole week on their Page.
When you’re filling in your timeline, you can use the Life Event option to add experiences from the different parts of your life. This is suitable for engagements, weddings, birth of children, etc.
When you give an app permission to add activity to your timeline, that activity may also appear in ticker and News Feed. Depending on your privacy settings, your app activity may also be visible to other people using the app or website. If you want to remove an app story from your timeline and activity log, you can do so at any time. Your friends and the other people you share information with can also share your activity with apps they use. To turn off the ability for others to share your app activity go to your Privacy settings.
It seems most like the Cover but dislike the Timeline structure which they view as disorganized. Mary Fleming Myers shared her concerns, “I’ve lost my statuses and all my friends comments since going on Facebook. The print and pictures are too big and it’s complicated. Looking back on my profile was half the fun of Facebook. Not any of my friends like it.” The Timeline structure has not been welcomed and time will tell how we’ll all adapt.
As for businesses, most do not like the Timeline structure, however, I think that the Cover, Star and Pin to the Top features will be a welcome addition to Pages.
Click here for Facebook Page Guidelines.
Thank you to all those who took the time to answer my informal survey.