Fresh Alert: Facebook Business Pages Switch to Timeline 3/30/12

Quick note for clients and friends on Facebook Pages. Not only will FBML tabs be going away entirely June 1st or so, which means all your tabs need to be switched the iFrame app method, but now the Business Pages are changing to Timeline view on March 30th, 2012 and you need to be prepared with different graphics and a modified design approach so your Page won’t look strange or abandoned.

Please see Hubspot’s guide to the changes, and join us for the #smbydesign chat at a special time Thursday March 1st at 9PM CST to talk about the changes and what this means for your custom designed tabs!

The most important, and also ridiculous and unhelpful aspect of this mess is the following (text from Hubspot’s guide):

You can change it as often as you wish, but you should also adhere to Facebook’s policies regarding cover photos, which states that cover photos cannot include:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website.”
  • Contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section.
  • References to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features.
  • Calls-to-action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”
  • Covers must not be false, deceptive or misleading, and must not infringe on third parties’ intellectual property.

We often used arrows to communicate things to users about the Tabs – this is BAD NEWS not just for us as marketers, but for users trying to navigate the labyrinth of selections on Facebook’s very busy and constantly changing UI.

Also, from Twitter…


I am not sure what those features are or what the impact will be to smaller businesses.

Our clients should expect emails from us soon regarding their Facebook tabs and whether we’ll be able to change these as part of an ongoing monthly retainer or we will have to give them a quote for adjustments and updating – some clients still have FBML tabs so we are preparing emails for everyone now with details. We will reduce our rates for adjusting the design of tabs we have already done.

Join us if you can tomorrow for the #smbydesign chat. There’s much to discuss. We will talk about Facebook contests next week perhaps – it keeps getting pushed out as we react to the ever-changing social media world around us. :-)