Breaking News – Facebook has released the timeline for Fan Pages. This is a major change for business pages on Facebook. You can currently preview your Facebook page with the new timeline and on March 30th, your fan page will automatically get converted over to the new timeline if you have not manually published it yourself.

Like it or hate it, the new timeline is here and you as a business owner will need to deal with it. Here are 7 things you need to know about the recent Facebook changes:

1. No More Default Landing Tabs

Your visitors can no longer be directed to a landing tab, all visitors (fans or non-fans) are directed to the timeline now. You can however still create custom tabs (now called aps) and fan-gates, however the initial landing point of new visitors will always be the timeline.

2. New Width For Custom Tabs

The new size for tabs are now 850px, be sure to convert your current tabs and take advantage of this additional space.

3. Photos, Likes, Apps Now At Top Of Page

Your photos, likes, and aps are now at the top of the page and no longer over in the left sidebar. Photos will always show in the first spot, however you can edit and change the order of everything else, so you can showcase what matters most. You can have up to 12 aps.

4. Pin A Post To The Top

You can hover over a favorite post and click on the star icon to make it wider or the pencil icon to pin it to the top of your page. Pinning is a great way to increase visibility to a post.

5. Fan Page Messages

Now fans can message (email) your page. Check your admin panel for notifications of new messages.

6. Cover Photo

You can now add a nice large cover photo (850px by 315px) but it can NOT contain the following:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”.
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section.
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features.
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”.

7. New & Improved Admin Panel

You will now be able to track your page activity from the admin panel. Also coming in March you will be able to set different permissions for each admin of the page.

Other Recent Facebook Changes

Facebook Deals Replaced with Offers

No more Facebook Deals for customers who check-in to your business, these have been replaced with Facebook Offers. You can now create an offer without having to wait for Facebook approval. A great benefit of these offers are that they are super easy to claim (one simple click) by your customers and when they do the coupon is sent direct to their email for them to present to you in your store.

Redeeming an offer puts a story about the claim into news feeds along with the user’s timeline, depending on whether their settings allow it.

Reach Generator – Make Sure Fans See Your Stories

Are your fans not seeing your posts? A new advertising option allows you to reach 75% of your fans on a monthly basis.

Reach Generator allows advertisers to pay Facebook on an ongoing basis, as opposed to a CPC or CPM basis, to sponsor one page post every day, and guarantee a 75 percent reach of the page’s fanbase over a month-long period.

New Facebook Ad Platform

Facebook is releasing to add options to enhance an already attractive and effective ad platform. Facebook with soon start running ads to user on mobile devices (previously mobile user never saw any ads) and will also start pushing ads into timelines and newsfeeds as sponsored stories.

As we all know with Facebook, change is constant. The recent Facebook changes present a great opportunity for your business if you plan and take advantage of them.