Good News: Facebook is rolling out the Timeline view to Facebook Fan Pages. It has new features and some great marketing potential for businesses.

Bad News: the rollout happens at the end of March whether you like it or not. All existing fan pages will be updated, you will not have the option to opt out.

New Changes:

1. The new design includes a large banner image (called a cover photo) like your personal Facebook timeline view.

2. Private messages are now allowed between business pages and other Facebook users.

3. Default landing pages are gone. You used to be able to setup a specific page that would be seen by people who haven’t “Liked” you yet. That is gone. All visitors land on your Timeline page.

4. Application tabs have been moved from the side into icons directly under the banner. Only 4 show by default, but they are much more visible than before. Plus you can set images on the icons to make them more noticeable.

5. You can now create featured content. You can mark content as featured, giving it more space on the Timeline, and/or you can pin a post to make it stay on top. (often called sticky posts)

6. Application page widths have been expanded.

If you have a customized Facebook page you will need to verify that everything works on the Timeline view. Regardless you will need to create a new cover photo and organize your application icons. All these features are great for businesses marketing through Facebook, but the March 30 deadline make it imperative you make the changes immediately.

Contact Main Street if you need help updating your Facebook page.