Last week at their first marketing conference Facebook announced the fast-approaching introduction of Timeline for brand pages. On March 30, all brand pages will be ported to the new view format, which makes a number of significant changes to features that were possible in the previous/current layout.
At a high level, some of the most salient changes are:
- Applications installed on pages, previously referred to as tabs, are now “Application Pages.” The navigation for applications moves from the left-hand sidebar to the top of the page and each application can feature a large, visual icon.
- Applications can no longer be set as default landing pages for non-fans. This change will change strategies for growing audiences on your page to focus strongly on new features, such as…
- Featured Posts now allow you to expand specific posts, photos, videos, and events in your brand’s history to a full width. This featured content is visually stunning and really sticks on your profile.
- Pinned Posts allow you to stick any particular post to the top of your Timeline, which can assure that visitors see engaging and visually interesting content on their first visit
- The biggest draw of a user’s eye will be the humongous Cover Photo at the top of your page. Just like personal Timeline profiles, the Cover Photo allows brands to feature their customers, brand identity and more in a huge, enticing image.
- Custom applications installed on your page can now fit into a much larger space. The application canvas grows from a mere 520px to a very wide 810px. This allows custom applications to really expand and provide deep and sizable user experiences.
One of the best ways to learn about the upcoming changes is to check out Facebook’s “Learn About Facebook Pages” course. Follow along with interactive presentations and videos posted by members of their development and marketing teams. Check it out at http://www.learnfacebookpages.com/
These changes will significantly affect the strategies brand managers will have to employ in building out their page presence. Custom applications are now afforded a richer space to provide additional value to your fans, but focusing on deep engagement and taking advantage of new Featured and Pinned Posts on your Timeline will be the best way to attract new fans and grow your community.
Don’t forget to read Facebook’s FAQs and announcement of their new Facebook Pages format.
In the coming weeks, Awexome Labs will be posting more helpful tips, pointers, and tools that will help you navigate your page from the old format to the brand, spanking new Timeline.
We’ve released a small update to our DoesOpenGraph rubygem, useful for connecting to the Facebook Graph API in your ruby environments of all shapes and sizes.
The new minor version, 0.2.1, upgrades the gem’s dependencies to make integrating DoesOpenGraph in your current environments a bit easier. There are also some slight changes to the Readme documentation.
View DoesOpenGraph on github
Check out the figures and facts from the Rubygems page
While this is a very small fix release, we have a number of updates and changes planned for DoesOpenGraph in the future. Feel free to fork, follow, and use the project. We’re cooking up some enhancements in the areas of console access and a feather-light integration with lighter frameworks such as Sinatra.