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A View of Facebook Timeline Brand Pages and How to Enable it Right Now

Update: be sure to read our new post about 23 cool examples of Facebook Page cover photos!


Finally, the most popular topic of the last few weeks, Facebook Timeline for brand pages, is live and in action. There are some changes, such as how the applications are displayed. It also seems like the default landing pages have disappeared. On 30 March 2012 your Page will automatically get Facebook Timeline for brand pages. However, you can enable timeline right now.

How to enable Facebook Timeline for Brand Pages

1. Go to Facebook

More precisely, go to this link to get started.

2. Turn on preview for your company’s fan page.

Only your page’s admins can see the timeline as long as you’re in preview mode.

facebook timeline preview

3. Add a cover photo

You can add a cover photo from the right hand side of your fan page. If you don’t have one, now is the right time to design a neat looking cover page. Click here for some examples from the early adopters. The measurements for cover photos are:

Width: 851px
Height: 315px

When choosing your cover photo it is important to follow Facebook’s guideline. Your cover photo cannot include:

A. Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”.
B. Contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section.
C. References to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features.
D. 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. (Source)

4. Publish

Once you click “publish” your Facebook fan page timeline will be visible for everyone to see.

So, what now?

1. New admin panel and insights

Once enabled, you have the access to a new and improved admin panel (screenshot below). This can be accessed simply by going on your Facebook fan page as an admin. This admin panel will be displayed above your Facebook page cover page but you can hide it if you wish. Admin panel is a serious improvement because it features a centralized location for admins as the name would suggest. Admin panel is also really useful for interacting with what’s happening on your fan pages such as new wallposts, comments, private messages and so on.

facebook timeline admin panel

2. Featured content

Use “pin to top” button to feature a post as one of the top posts on your wall. To do so, click on the upper right corner on a post you’d like to feature. Make sure you use an engaging post or an offer. Another option is to feature an ongoing campaign with a stunning visual, good copywriting and a link. Featured stories will have a lifeline of seven days which means you can only pin posts that are really recent. Think of this as a “post of the week” type of thing.

facebook pin to top

3. Redesign your custom applications

With the new timeline, there are some new measurements. Design your custom applications with the new maximum width in mind. It seems to be 779 pixels wide. (Update: The CSS of Facebook has some errors, so we’re not actually sure what the final width will be. We suspect it will be 810 px) 

Don’t forget that there are now big icons for timeline applications. The new icons are 111px wide and 74px high. If the sizes don’t match, your large thumbnail will be automatically converted and scaled. Here’s how they look:

new facebook timeline application icons

The easiest way to add the new icon is to:

  1. go on your page’s settings
  2. click on ‘apps’
  3. scroll down to the application you want to edit
  4. click ‘edit settings’
  5. where it says custom tab image, click change
  6. click ‘change’ again and upload the photo
how to add facebook timeline icon

4. Clean up and edit your settings

From the upper right hand side of the admin panel, click “Manage” and then “Use activity log” to edit what kind of activities are displayed on your timeline.

There are new settings, make sure you choose the fitting. You can edit these settings by clicking on ‘edit page’ and then ‘manage permissions’. These new settings are:

  1. accepting private messages from profiles
  2. admin revision – allow users to post on your timeline after an admin has approved it
  3. show the box of ‘recent posts by others’ as your timeline’s top right post
facebook timeline permissions

5. Upload a new profile picture

Use a 180 px * 180 px profile picture which will be then scaled down to 32 px * 32 px. Make sure your picture is of high quality and scales down well because the profile icon that’s being displayed on your timeline’s posts is really small. The best bet is to use your logo.

facebook timeline profile icon small

6. Expand your brand’s story

Timeline is visual, get used to it. To do so, expand a story to the full width of timeline by starring a story. To do that click on the star that can be located on the right upper corner. This is great for displaying beautiful visual content.

facebook starring stories

7. Add milestones

Add your company’s milestones that date back in time such as company foundation date, a new product launch etc (see Coca Cola’s example below). Additionally, write a few sentences about your company was created or how your new product was launched.

The sizes for Facebook milestone pictures are:

Width: 843 pixels
Height: 403 pixels

8. Invite your friends

You can now invite your friends or email contacts to like your page by clicking on “build audience.

facebook invite friends

9. Rearrange your applications

Hover onto one of your application icons and click on the button on the upper right corner. Then swap it with with another application of your choice. Important: Facebook has set a limit of displayable applications. This is now 4 (default displayed) + 8 more. As one of them is photos which you cannot remove, the total application slots for Facebook timeline  is 11. However, if you’re an administrator of the page, you will see all of the applications that are added to your page. Takeaway: always remember to arrange and double-check your application order. 

Facebook timeline application swapping

10. Fans can now private message fan pages

Of course, if you’re not interested in that, you can simply turn it off on your page’s settings. However, this new messaging feature means that we can engage with our target audience on a new level.

messaging fan pages

11. Default landing pages are now gone

Of course, this is not the end of the world. However, you might want to revise your Facebook activities and applications. For example, you can use your cover photo to give a short and simple overview of why should one like your page. You cannot however use a call-to-action such as “like” as it would be against the new policy (mentioned more thoroughly above).

12. Facebook offers are (almost) here

Fan pages can soon create exclusive offers for their fans. Read more about it here.

13. Promote stories on your cover page

A good tip for cover photo ideas is to previously ask your fans to post pictures or tell a interesting story related to them and your brand. Find the most meaningful/moving one and feature it on your timeline’s cover page. This is what Verizon is doing.

facebook cover page verizon

14. Allow and star fan posted messages on your wall

Prompt your fans to post pictures or tell stories about previous/current interactions with your brand. Find an interesting one that you’ll think will work and star it as a featured post for the week.

15. Friend activity is being shown on your page

You can now see your friend activities on a page’s wall such as wall posts, likes, check-in’s, etc. Inspiring your fans to interact with your page is becoming more and more vital. Talk about social proof when you instantly see how many of your friends have checked into a restaurant when you land on the restaurants wall for the first time and have never even heard of the mentioned restaurant.

facebook friend activity


If you go back to the very beginning, Coca Cola has displayed their company’s creation date and a neat looking visual to go along with it. Be sure to make one for your brand page.

facebook brand timeline coca cola

Coca Cola has a rich history which means they have a lot of information to display on their timeline such as a testimonial dating back to 15th March, 1892.

coca cola fan page

Old Spice has a mean looking cover page.

old spice facebook timeline cover page

Third party applications width is now expanded. You can still see the old apps such as Ford Motors welcome page but as you can see, they are not using the full width yet. It seems that the new width for Facebook applications is 779 pixels. (Update: The CSS of Facebook has some errors, so we’re not actually sure what the final width will be. We suspect it will be 810 px)ford motors facebook landing page

This is how the applications are displayed.

new facebook application icons

The about page looks different now. Check out Windows’ about page.

facebook timeline about page

PS! Don’t forget to check our post which features a lot of new Timeline examples including featured pins, cover photos and milestones.

Have you converted to Facebook timeline yet? Let us know!

Image credit: Wisemetrics

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Mart Prööm

Hi there! I’m a young marketing enthusiast currently getting my bachelors degree in the awesome field that is marketing. I’m passionate about inbound marketing, social media, mobile marketing and my own personal hobbies such as football and volleyball.

34 Responses

  1. daniel says:

    is anyone else experiencing an issue when adding a milestone to a fan page? specifically at the milestone is created but doesn’t appear on the time-line?


  2. Rene says:

    Your concise and helpful instructions were very much appreciated. I consider myself computer challenged and a newbie at building my website (3 years) so even these instructions took me a while to figure out. I would have been totally lost without them.

    Is there a way to change the favorite icons from event or notes? I would like to put some favorite pictures here that I have on my site.

    • Thanks Rene, I’m glad the instructions were helpful. Currently it’s not possible to change the icons for applications such as photos, notes, events, etc.

  3. steven rowe says:

    There seems to be a bug when you upload tab images. Is this any closer to being rectified?

    • Hi Steven, which bug are you referring to? Is it the one where users don’t get redirected back after changing the application image? If so, there’s no word out on that matter.

    • steven rowe says:

      On the “tabs” i.e welcome, about us etc., when I try to upload my own image, it uploads images that aren’t even on my pc. I’ve read somewhere this is a bug that Facebook are aware of and working on. Very occasionally it works first time, I’ve had 25 attempts for one client site I manage, to no avail. I am using the correct sizes as prescribed by Facebook.

    • That’s weird. Haven’t had that problem myself. Hope it gets fixed soon, though

  4. Taruna says:

    Great overview, Thanks! Regarding “9. Rearrange your applications”. Is there a limit to the number of applications you can have in this section. In the example I see 2 rows of 4 icons (=8). Can this be more?

    • Hi Taruna, thanks for commenting. The number of application slots is 4 + 8. Just tested it. When you’re admin for the page, you will see all of the applications (in our case, 42).

  5. Excellent article.

    I am working on my timeline for my FB business page, only in the “preview” mode at the moment

    1. How do I change the icon picture for “photos”. Unlike other icons, it doesn’t give me a pencil when i hover over it
    2. Can I change the name of the “photos” app icon (to “products” for example)?
    3. How can i reduce the number of icons that appear on the panel by default. I saw that someone only had 2 icons on their panel (obviously you can click on the arrow on the right and see all the apps).

    I hope these questions and their answers will be useful to others!


    • Hi Alexander, thank you for your comment.

      1. You can’t change the icon for your photos. The same problem was with old fan pages. Facebook doesn’t allow admins to customize that feature.
      2. The same thing is with naming the app. You’re not allowed to do that.
      3. With some tabs it’s possible to “remove from favorites” once you click on the icon.

      Hope these answer your questions. Cheers!

  6. Wonderful. This is so fresch and you already had time to do this post! amazing!

  7. Tam Ngo says:

    Oh, thanks for your updated information. That’s great to know that pages allow private message 😀 Timeline brand pages not only focus on design but also function, it’s really better than timeline for profile. Will update it now.

  8. Thanks for the tips on the new sizes of the images. This helps setting it up.

  9. Vicki Corson says:

    Someone please clarify for me: Are Facebook Timeline Pages, Brand Pages, Fan Pages, Business Pages all the same thing? Are there only two types of FB pages now–personal profile AND Timeline/Brand/Fan/Business. Have Facebook Groups gone by the wayside?

    • Hi Vicki, currently there are:
      -normal facebook business pages (the ones that have been around for a year in the current design). these will be gone from March 30th.
      -Facebook timelines for brand pages (or call them fan pages, timeline pages, etc)
      -Facebook timelines for personal profiles
      -Group pages (updated a few weeks ago). Read this post by Mari Smith.

      Hope this was enough to clarify the situation.

  10. John says:

    How does one change the icon so that it is the correct size in the “Views and apps” section of the page.

    Excellent article by the way.

  11. JC Heymans says:

    Awesome article! Facebook timeline pages look a lot neater. I just updated my company’s fb page.

  12. Kyle says:

    How far back can you go with the milestones? I would love to create fan pages/timelines for historical figures!

  13. Samson says:

    Previewing the new layout now; is it safe to say we’ll be losing the ability to select a “default landing tab”?

  14. Mario says:

    Thanks for this article, as a fan page for a favorite zynga game the Pioneer Trail we took the step also to switch to the page timeline.

    It’s adjusting but I start to like it. Cover photo is the most difficult part in my opinion to find something suitable.

    We opted for having our logo highlighted with website screenshots placement.


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