How to Change Your Business Facebook Page’s Timeline App Display

Man Examining Film Strip

(UPDATE: I’ve added the image size  for the custom app images to the bottom of the post – 111px x 74px.)

Phew. That was a mouthful.

By now, most folks have had an opportunity to examine their business’s Facebook page in the new Timeline format, at least in preview. Many have gone ahead and taken the plunge.

(I took one of my three pages to Timeline yesterday, and plan to convert the rest over by the end of this weekend.)

And there is a ton of discussion out there already about Timeline in general. I wrote about the basic changes Timeline created here yesterday.

David F. Carr wrote an extensive piece about Timeline changes for The Brainyard’s page at Information Week (with the howlingly funny “Understatement of the Century” headline “Timeline for Facebook Pages Takes Getting Used To”).

And Kristi Hines wrote one of my favorite pieces on the subject at Kikolani (“New Facebook Pages With Timeline Design – Pros and Cons“).

One thing I haven’t seen discussed much is the new arrangement of apps, and the options for customizing this feature on your Timeline.

(Kudos and a big smooshy kiss to Jen Stayrook for inspiring this post!)

Anatomy of the Timeline: Apps and Photos

Here’s a good example of what I’m talking about: the Livestrong page.

Screenshot of the Livestrong Facebook Timeline Cover Photo and Apps

In the screenshot above, you can see the full cover photo with the Livestrong logo.

Beneath that, there’s a row that starts with the organization’s “About” info, followed by four images. The one on the far left is the Photos section, the other three are the three apps that the Livestrong page admins have elected to display.

Selecting Your Apps to Display

You get four spaces for apps (which were your former tabs). Visitors to your page will only see four unless they click the little downward-pointing arrow to the right of the far-right app image. That loads the rest.

You can change this up in a lot of ways, all of which start the same way: simply click the down-pointing arrow, then hover your mouse over the image of the app you want to change. A pencil icon will show up. Click it, and a popup menu of options appears.

Screenshot of App Editing Options in Facebook Timeline

You can swap positions of apps this way, remove them from your favorites (which takes it off that visible line), or uninstall the app from your page altogether.

You can also “edit settings.” What does that mean? Glad you asked!

Change the App Cover Images On Your Timeline

Take another look at that Livestrong screenshot up there. See how all the images echo the color scheme and style of the cover photo? That’s a fabulous branding technique for Facebook and Timeline’d pages.

But how do you change the default, not-so-attractive and completely-unbranded images? It’s not immediately obvious, is it?

Two words: Edit. Settings.

So, click that downward arrow again, hover your mouse over the app image you want to change, click the pencil icon when it pops up, and then click “Edit Settings.”

What pops up next is this:

Screenshot of App Image "Edit Settings" Menu on Facebook Timeline

From there, if you want to change the default text, simply enter the new name in the “Custom Tab Name” box and click save.

To change the image, simply click the “Change” text link next to Custom Tab Image.

Or if you want to take it off completely, click the “remove” text link.

Your custom image should be designed at 111 px by 74 px!

Stay Tuned

There’s so much more, I know, to discover about Timeline, the new apps structure, and the ways you can use it all to communicate your brand and attract clients and customers.

But I gotta tell you – when I figured out this little business today, the whole “change the app images” thing? I felt a lot better about the whole deal.

It’s a relatively small thing, I guess, in the grand scheme of all things digital-marketing. But a little bit of control in Facebook-land — where it all too often  seems that none of us have any control whatsoever — is a major mood booster, in my book.

How are you guys doing with your Facebook pages’ conversion? Anybody see any awesome examples of good Timelines? Or great ones? Share away in the comments!


{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon - ParkRideFly March 2, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Yay – I wanted to change that. I can now change my free ebook to the latest cover every month.

Annali.G March 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm

hey – thanks for the quick fixes –
no the strangest thing – when changing the icons and uploading the new pic – 
it grabs something from a cached library – and refuses to do so…

Annie Sisk March 5, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Huh …. Annali I have no idea. Will look into this! 

Paula March 6, 2012 at 3:56 pm

@Annali I had the same problem. I have no idea how to get around this Facebook glitch. I tried to change the default image for my email signup tab and it put in a picture of zombies of all things!! I deleted the picture and tried to upload another and it again put in some weird image of hot air balloons. Bizarre.

evan austin March 7, 2012 at 6:41 am

GREAT stuff, Annie! Sounds like there are glitches, but aside from that: does it happen to tell you the dimensions of that small image space (you know, for we graphics types who are gonna make custom thumbnails for those)?

Annie Sisk March 8, 2012 at 5:58 pm

It’s 111 px by 74 px, evan, according to my measurements! 

Annie Sisk March 8, 2012 at 5:59 pm

I’m still looking into that – I can’t find anyone who’s experienced it who’s found a fix yet, so I still don’t even know what’s triggering it in the first place. Will update this post if I figure it out, though! 

Marianne March 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Hi there. Thanks for the tips.  The edit pencil isn’t appearing when I hover over the Photos App though. Right now Timeline is taking my cover photo and putting it as the Photo Apps photo.  Any suggestions?  Thanks.

JoeMobi March 9, 2012 at 3:44 pm

 I’m trying to do the same thing. Re-ordering my images doesnt change it. Wonder if it uses last uploaded?

JoeMobi March 9, 2012 at 3:48 pm

 That seems to be it, actually – lastest upload. Wow, that’s going to get annoying.

El Edwards March 9, 2012 at 10:27 pm

I think it’s a bug Annie. Happened to me too. Like Paula, I deleted the image and have reported it to Facebook here: (scroll down to the bottom of that page and click ‘my bug is not listed above’ and then fill in the form with the details of what you’re experiencing.)

The more people that report a bug, the more the FB team seem to pay attention so Paula, I’d definitely recommend you take a few moments to do that.

Annie March 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Yep, that’s what I’m hearing, too, El. Hopefully it will get cleared up soon!

Annie Sisk March 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm

I’m not seeing any fix for that, Marianne, sadly. As JoeMobi points out, it seems to default to the last file uploaded. Think that’s definitely going on the “wish list” for sure!

Annie Sisk March 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Hi El! Yep, that’s what I’m finding, too. Hopefully they’ll get that rectified soon! 

Annie Sisk March 10, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Annali, most of us are concluding this is a bug. Go here: and scroll down to click “my bug is not listed above” then fill in the form accordingly. As El pointed out above, the more folks who report it the likelier/sooner we might see a fix! 

Joanne March 14, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Hi there,

This is the exact information I’m looking for, but when clicking on the pencil I don’t see the “edit” option.  All I see is the option to switch position with my other apps.  any suggestions?

evan austin March 15, 2012 at 2:31 am

 This will continue to evolve and improve, i’m certain…i’m glad that they’re making the custom image option available knowing it’s imperfect, because we who are commenting here are precisely that front-edge percentage of users who’ll put it through its paces and help get it fixed.

i finally was able to get one custom tile image up, simply by clicking to re-upload over and over…after about 6 or 8 random images, the one i had created came up!

Kate March 21, 2012 at 11:29 pm

This is great, thank you for the helpful feedback. When I go to change the app pictures and click Edit Settings, it only says Tab: added (remove) It doesn’t give me an option to change the photo or the name. If you could please help, that would be much appreciated!


Hiddenvalleyrv April 1, 2012 at 4:58 pm

this may have already been asked…if so please link me to the answer…What does the “Link to this Tab” option accomplish in the screenshot above.  I tried it but couldn’t tell what it changed if anything.  Thanks

Annie April 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I think this gives you a direct URL to that tab. Somebody try it out and let us know!

evan austin April 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm

This app tile thing still ain’t perfect – a client of mine discovered one day that one of his tiles had switched to an image of a man in a tie biting a picture frame. WTF?!

We swapped it out easily enough, but the fact that it changed at all was quite strange.

Even so, i just today saw a post by Mari Smith about a tool for do-it-yourselfers to change their app tiles: 
Haven’t tried it myself, but i trust Mari a lot.

Amy_pye July 24, 2012 at 7:16 pm

I have a question and I really hope you can help. I’d like to feature 3 specific photo albums in the apps on my timeline. Is there a way to do this? 

ambreen11 February 26, 2013 at 3:23 am

Good effort. The Facebook Timeline for Pages offers Businesses the perfect opportunity to tell the story of your business and create your businesses’ identity on Facebook. Perhaps one of the greatest elements from the Timeline is the cover photo, a large horizontal banner that can be an image of your brand, an upcoming product, or anything else you want to showcase.
want to showcase.

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