(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.
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.
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.
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:
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!
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!