On March 1st 2012 Facebook rolled out the new timeline design for Facebook business pages. There are a few bugs Facebook will hopefully address before the new Facebook design becomes compulsory on March 31st so there’s merit in waiting before you upgrade your page, especially if you have any custom pages.
If you just can’t wait, or you want to get ready in advance, then here are all the measurements you need to know for the cover photo, profile image, navigation tabs, milestone image and custom pages plus the most common problems you’re going to face and how to fix them.
If you don’t know what all the new features and changes are yet, read our timeline upgrade article first: Quick reference guide to the new Facebook timeline upgrade for business pages
Ready? Here goes…
Facebook timeline image measurements
Firstly, here are the key measurements you and your graphic designer need to know…
Facebook cover photo size: 850 x 315 pixels – that’s 850 wide by 315 high
Facebook profile image size: 180 x 180 pixels square
Facebook navigation tab size: 110 x 74 pixels – that’s 110 wide by 74 high
Facebook custom pages – such as welcome pages and entry forms – are expected to be 810 pixels wide (they were 520 pixels) however there is talk is this may change so stay tuned
Facebook milestone image size: 843 x 403 pixels – that’s 843 wide by 403 high
Here are the cover photo, profile image and navigation tab sizes in action:
FAQs & how to for when you upgrade your Facebook page
My cover photo or profile image has been cropped or stretched
If you load your cover photo and profile image at actual size (so they exactly match the measurements above) then they won’t be cropped, squished or stretched.
What are the rules for what the cover photo can and cannot include?
There are very strict new rules you need to make your graphic designer aware of.
Your cover photo must not include:
- Price, offers or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website.” (ie: Don’t use it as an advert).
- 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 so be extra careful with copyright and claims.
Facebook’s preference appears to be cover photos with as little text as possible which is consistent with Facebook’s move towards becoming more visual as a whole. They do not want you to put details that should be in your about box or on your info page in your cover photo. They also don’t want you using it for free advertising and, very importantly, you must not mention or hint at any Facebook features, such as asking non fans to like your page.
My thumbnail is cropped, how do I change my thumbnail image size?
A thumbnail of your profile image will show beside every update you make and is what fans see on their news feed.
To fix this problem, upload your profile image at actual size then hover over your new profile image and click the ‘Edit Profile Image’ option. From the drop down select ‘Edit Thumbnail’. Now tick the ‘scale to fit’ option and save. Your thumbnail will now be an exact but mini version of your profile image without being cropped.
The quality of my cover photo image is poor
The cover photo is automatically optimised, so depending on the image you pick (especially if it has solid blocks of colour) you may notice it becomes a bit ‘blotchy’ and doesn’t appear at the same quality as the original image once uploaded.
The more and finer detail your cover photo image includes, the less you’ll notice the optimisation. Facebook controls this, not you, but loading images at the actual size will also help.
My reveal page no longer works after I upgraded my page!
If your Facebook custom page is a reveal page – also called a reveal tab or fan gate – and you upgrade your page, then you’ll notice the reveal functionality does not work after you upgrade 🙁
So when a non-fan clicks ‘like’ they won’t be automatically redirected to see the content only fans can see.
We’re hoping this isn’t intentional and that Facebook is working on getting this fixed. This is the reason we’d suggest holding off on upgrading your page for the time being. If you’d like to upgrade anyway then you can hide any reveal pages from the default nav.
7/3/12 UPDATE – Good news, Facebook has apparently confirmed this is a bug and they will be working to have it fixed so reveal / fan gate pages and apps should work again soon. UPDATE – This is now fixed 🙂
How much text fits in the about box?
Around the first 150 to 170 characters will show in your about box in your navigation bar.
The reason it varies is due to the length of your words and how much space they take up. Experiment with a mix of shorter and longer words (use short words when you can so more words per line will fit in) in order to get as much copy visible as possible. You can include links to your website and blog, your email address, phone number and a description of what you offer, just keep in mind links and email addresses will use up quite a bit of the available space so will reduce how many other words will show.
Here’s what our about box says:
My about box is showing my contact details and I can’t edit them
If your type of page is a ‘local business’ then instead of an editable area like the screenshot above that other page types get, your contact details from your info page will show instead. If you want your website link in this area the trade-off is you’ll have to remove your phone number.
How do I add a milestone?
You create a new (or past) milestone by clicking ‘Milestone’ which is just above the status update box under your about area. It will tell you what information to add and you can upload a photo as well.
Here’s an example of a ‘founded’ milestone from our Facebook page which shows you how adding a full length photo can really make a milestone update stand out:
Why isn’t my milestone appearing on my fans news feed?
So far it appears that past milestones (milestones with dates in the past) will not appear on fans walls. Our guess is only milestones added with a recent date will send an update to fans walls or that the functionality around milestones appearing in news feeds has a bug. Going by what we’ve seen so far you should be safe to add all your past milestones without spamming fans. This would make sense as Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm (the reason why only 1 in 6 fans sees updates from most Facebook business pages) does factor recency into what will and will not show, ie: current content is more likely to appear.
My old custom pages are too small
Your existing 520 pixel wide custom pages are currently still able to be viewed when you upgrade your page, they just look a little odd sitting off to one side or in the middle of so much white space, so you will want to get them redesigned for the new width closer to the end of the March (just in case the size or functionality changes between now and then).
If you use a templated app or templated custom page then give the app company time to upgrade. I’d suggest contacting them directly if they haven’t upgraded or contacted you by the middle of March.
How do I change my navigation page images?
You can change the navigation tab images once you’ve upgraded your page so they grab attention to get fans and non fans to click them, or you can use them to create some neat design effects where your cover photo appears to continue in your navigation tabs (like the screenshot at the start of this article).
Here is how Subway have used their tabs as mini banner ads to get attention so fans and non fans click to view their custom pages:
To change the navigation tab images for your custom pages:
1 – If your admin panel is not showing at the top of of your page, click the ‘admin’ button top right first.
2 – Once admin is showing, click ‘Manage’ then select ‘Edit Page’ from the Manage drop-down menu top right.
3 – You’ll be taken to the area where you edit your page settings. Click ‘apps’ from the list of setting areas on the left.
4 – Find the custom page you want to change and click ‘Edit Settings’.
5 – Click ‘change’ beside Custom Tab Image, then click change again. If custom tab image isn’t visible then the page or app you’re using doesn’t have the option to change the image.
6 – An upload box will appear. Upload the new navigation image from your computer and click save, then go to your page to view the new image.
If you’re a visual learner, here’s a quick tutorial that shows you how to change your navigation bar:
How do I change the pages featured in my navigation bar?
To change your default navigation: Watch the tutorial above. Alternatively, so that the 3 pages you want to show beside your photos appear in your top row of navigation, click the arrow on the far right of the 4 tabs, then hover over any tab you want to move. A pencil icon will appear in the corner of the tab. Click the pencil and then choose which page you want to swap the position of.
How do I pin and unpin updates?
You can select an update and pin it to the top of your page for up to 7 days so that other updates you and your fans add won’t push it down your wall. This is great for featuring news, an event, a product release, competition or custom page.
How to pin an update: Hover over the update, click the pencil icon that appears in the corner, then click ‘Pin to Top’. The update will appear at the top of your wall with a bookmark icon in the top right corner.
How to unpin an update: Hover over the update and a pencil icon will appear in the corner. Click the pencil then select ‘Unpin From Top’.
How do I highlight an update?
You can select multiple updates to be highlights on your wall (you cannot both highlight and pin the same update though, it’s one or the other).
When you highlight or ‘star’ an update, it stretches the full width of your wall rather than the default width which is either the left or right hand side of your wall.
Like pinning, you can easily undo this so don’t be afraid to try it out:
How to highlight an update: Hover over the selected update and click the star icon that appears in the corner. To return a highlighted update to the normal width, just hover over it and click the star again.
How do I set a default page for non fans when they first go to my Facebook page?
Unfortunately one of the few changes I don’t like is this: You can no longer set a custom page or app to be the default page that non fans are taken to on your Facebook page. Fans and non fans default view is now the wall.
How do I access and hide the admin panel?
At the top right of your page click ‘Admin’ to show your admin panel. If you want to hide it again, click the Hide button top right.
How do I turn Messages on or off?
This new feature lets fans send you personal messages, making it much easier for you to have a private conversation with fans and reducing the chances of negative comments appearing on your wall for everyone to see, such as dealing with customer service issues.
The default when you upgrade is that Messages will be activated, but you can turn it off in your edit page area (which I wouldn’t recommend).
To turn Message on or off: In the admin panel, click ‘Manage’ top right then select ‘Edit Page’ from the drop down menu. Select ‘Manage Permissions’ from the left hand side if it’s not already showing, then find and tick the ‘Show Message button’ option. Or untick it of course if you don’t want fans to be able to message you privately.
I have another question…
I hope this guide has helped answer all your FAQs and given you easy to follow ‘how to’ solutions – but if you’ve got a question you can’t find the answer to then feel free to ask it below in the comments section, or go to our Facebook page and ask your question there to get the fastest reply – and I’ll add the answer to this list also so everyone benefits.
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