Changes to Facebook & What You Need to Know

January 28, 2015

Changes to Facebook & What You Need to Know

Social media is fluid and ever changing. It seems every time we turn around, there’s something new and exciting happening. Like many of the other platforms, Facebook underwent some pretty extensive changes that were rolled out to all Fan Pages last April, the most noteworthy (and somewhat controversial) being the new “Timeline” design. Here’s what you need to know about these changes so that you can continue to maximize its use for your business.

Profile Image Size

Your profile image is the picture that appears whenever you comment or interact with others on Facebook. The size requirements for this image have been changed to 180 x 180, notably smaller than the previous size allowed of 180 x 540. The profile image has been scaled down to a smaller size to allow the cover image to be the focal point of the profile page.

Cover Image

The new Timeline layout now provides the ability to place a larger picture, called a cover image, across the top of your profile page. Unlike the previous photo strip, which showed a handful of recent photos you either added or were tagged in, your cover image remains the same until you choose to change it. This particular feature is great for businesses because it essentially allows you to give your page a more customized and branded feel. That being said, there are a few guidelines that must be adhered to when it comes to choosing a cover image.

First, the size of the cover image must be 851 x 315. Remember, this image is going to be stretched along the top of your page, so you’ll want it to appear clear and professional.

Next, there are a number of things a cover image cannot contain, such as:

  • Price or purchase information. In other words, you can’t use your cover image to run an ad for your product or service that contains any quantifiable amounts, such as “40% off” or any promotional language like “download it at our website”.
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your page’s “About” section.
  • References to user interface elements, such as “Like” or “Share” or any other Facebook site features.
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”.

Simply put, your cover image is intended to be just that – an image to enhance the look and feel of your fan page. It is not intended to serve as an advertising or marketing campaign.  Consider using images of a popular item you sell, pictures of your team hard at work or a customer using your product (with their permission, of course). Remember, your cover image is the first thing people will see when they visit your page so make it engaging, be creative and change it often, just be sure to follow the rules outlined above.

Application Image Size

In the new Timeline layout, your application images are the icons that are displayed on your fan page. You have the ability to choose what icons appear on your page, but they must meet the new size requirement of 111 x 74, which is slightly larger than the previous requirement of 75 x 75.

Application Page (Landing Pages)

Default landing pages for Facebook has been disabled which means you can no longer set an application as a landing page for non-fans. This means that whoever visits your page, whether they already “like” it or not, will see the same information and layout as everyone else.

The application page width has been enlarged to 810px (up from the previous size of 520px), however it’s important to note that at this maximum size the app will not be centered in the white space. In order to be properly centered, the app will need to be set at a size of 779px. Application landing pages are still possible, but are only accessible by clicking the application image below the cover image next to the “Likes” box.

Note:  Fan reveals still work in the applications and there are no restrictions on pointing to or otherwise referencing “Like” or “Share” on these.

If you’ve spent any time using social media you know that the one thing that remains constant is the fact that these platforms are always changing and evolving. Staying on top of these changes will allow you to continue to maximize your use of social media as a powerful tool to market your business.

Need some tips on how to get the most out of your Facebook fan page? Check out our recent article, Simple Daily Habits for Facebook Marketing Success for some helpful strategies and ideas.