Facebook announces Timeline for Pages

Facebook today started rolling out the new Timeline design for Pages. All brands and businesses will have access to the new feature by the end of March 2012. This is a mandatory update.

As expected, Facebook today started rolling out its Timeline update for Pages. Facebook says the new design gives "brands and businesses more ways to tell their story," since Pages "are more personalized and complementary to the look and feel of individual profiles" as you can "see your friends' interactions with that Page as friend activity, making the experience more dynamic and relevant for Facebook users." You should also check out facebook.com/about/pages and the new eight-page Facebook Pages guide (PDF).

PR-speak aside, here are the new features Facebook is highlighting:

  • Cover Photo: Businesses and organizations can now add a cover photo to the top of their Page.
  • Friend Activity: When someone first visits a Page, they may see friends' recent posts spotlighted as friend activity. People will also see how many of their friends are connected to a Page.
  • Larger Stories, Milestones, and Page Timeline: The new Page design allows Page owners to tell stories through bigger photos and milestones that can include a date and other content.
  • Pinned Posts: Organizations can pin a post to keep a story at the top of a Page for up to seven days.
  • Admin Panel: The Admin panel is a new way for Page administrators to track their performance and to respond to private messages from people (Facebook started testing Private Messages for Pages two months ago).
  • Activity Log: Page administrators have access to a log of their Page activity, including tools to easily highlight, hide or delete posts and change the date of a post.

"Facebook will communicate to admins about the Page redesign when they visit their Page next," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "This will include a tour of the new Pages and functionality. Admins will have until March 30th to finalize their new Page design and can publish any time before that." This is on the desktop version of the website; the mobile version will get Timeline for Pages later this year.

As you can see in the screenshot above, the official Facebook Page has already moved over. Other notable Pages that have made the switch include Canlis, Coca-Cola, Coldplay, Ben & Jerry's, Hyundai Worldwide, Lexus, Livestrong, Magnolia Bakery, Manchester United, Marines, People.com, SportsCenter, Starbucks, The New York Times, The U.S. Army, Today Show, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, United States Air Force, Walmart, and Zena Caffè. If you know any others, please let me know.

We've known for a while now that Facebook is planning to bring its new Timeline profile to Pages (Groups also got an update last week). Facebook chose today as the date to being rolling out Timeline for Pages since it is hosting its first Facebook Marketing Conference (fMC). The day-long conference in New York is specifically for marketers, but anyone can watch it here.

Last month, Facebook started rolling out Timeline to all its users. Pages are now getting the same treatment: a mandatory move to the Timeline look. If you're a Page administrator, you'll have between March 7 and March 30 to curate your Page before the new design goes live for everyone.

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