Guest post by Rahmeen Ahmad Khan. She is MBT"s Gold Star Contributor
After introducing timeline profile design, facebook has successfully launched timeline for facebook fan pages. Facebook has officially replaced old layouts with the timeline on 30th March, 2012. This time line has been more controversial rather than sensational. So, we are going to dig out why is there so much disturbance regarding a layout and why we can’t undo, disable or remove Timeline. But, we don’t believe in criticism only so we will also find out what should be our next step.
Despite the incredible success of Zukerberg’s marketing strategies, he made a mistake four years back when he introduced Beacon. It seems as if Mark Zukerberg loves to take great risks for amusements only else how could an entrepreneur ignore user feedback? Facebook has automatically replaced all the fan pages’ to timeline layout without giving an option to undo it. People are a little angry and much annoyed at this forced change. Has Zukerberg launched a campaign convincing all to switch, the situation would have been better today. People dislike this layout because they find it difficult to customize and maintain.
Why Time Line?
You must be thinking now and most of you have surely searched it; Why Timeline? Well, of course Zukerberg would have some solid points at his side to justify timeline. Let us share a few with you:
No one can ignore the basic marketing secret of “Being Unique”. Since its launch, facebook has always been unique in its facilitation, services and social networking approach. Facebook was doing perfectly fine with the old profiles and almost everyone was satisfied with it, including Zukerberg. There was no need to completely change the way people communicate with each other. But due to the emergence of its newly born rival, Google+, Zukerberg had to think seriously because Google+ offered almost all the features of Facebook with a little modification in them. May be this is the reason, why Zukerberg did not wait for positive user feedback and changed the game all alone.
Simplicity is one the key points in designing. Had there been two different layouts, things have been more difficult. To be technical, more complex algorithms would be required to manage the interactions and the transference of data properly. It could have also resulted in incalculable bugs. A question could also have arisen about the way search robots crawl information. To keep things simpler, it was a better choice to allow only one layout.
Facebook is the most widely used social network, used by people of all ages and interests. If you are using old profile and your friend is enjoying TimeLine, it would be difficult for you to understand his profile and organization of data, events, posts etc he has done there; because you are not used to it. So, it was a necessity to keep the uniformity in its user interface; else there could be a rise of two conflicting user groups of the same social network; one in the favor of time line and the other totally against it. How on earth, could one afford such a mess?
So let’s see what we can make out of this controversial change. Facebook fan page has come up with the following options for marketing your brand:
Cover Photo is not less than an immediate showcase or flyer for your brand. Although image dimensions are 851*315 pixels, but your uploaded image should be at least of 399 pixels so that it will stretch to the larger size. You can change your cover photo as many times as you like, and a news feed is displayed to all the subscribers. This can be an exciting option for all those who are designers, photographers or advertisers to show off their talent. However you can not display contact info or any discount packages, coupons or any sort of call to act on cover photo. Just hold on, you are provided with some better options.
A much better organized admin panel is provided with five subdivisions.
- New Likes
Notifications are the same as previous. New likes and insights help us to keep a track of who is engaged with your website and the page itself. You can contact directly to the page owner via “Messages”, as you would message any of your friends. This eliminates the need of a separate contact form.
Now, this is the feature I am really interested in. Page admin can pin any of the posts and it will appear on the upper left .These will last for seven days. You can use this option to promote any of your required post .For examples, if you have launched an e-book, developed a widget or achieved anything big you may prefer to pin that.
And here comes another exciting feature. Set your celebrations and greetings once and they will be displayed at their time accordingly. You do not need to put any more reminders. You can schedule your posts for a week and can enjoy free time easily because milestones are provided to set specific dates to things and it will appear at the specified time and date.
Display tabs or apps provide a more dynamic way of access. It has twelve tabs. One is reserved for your photo and this is static. Rest can be used to display any of your custom icons, url or facebook likes etc. But at most three can be displayed at a time (other than photo) and you need to hover over it to see the remaining apps. So, you need to prioritize the display order.
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