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Facebook is taking the next step for the recently released Timeline by moving all business pages to the new layout. Starting March 30th, all businesses will be automatically transferred to Timeline. While this is exciting and new for many businesses, if you're not prepared for the change it may also provide a steady dose of heartburn. There are distinct differences between the two layouts and how they allow you to communicate with your fans.
The Default Page - Facebook has seemingly refocused its primary effort to help businesses tell their story. By doing so, they have limited some of the options businesses use to promote themselves. Gone are the days where users are routed to specific designated tabs. Instead, the timeline cover page remains the default (at least for the time being).
Apps - Your previous "Tabs" are now considered "Apps" and they reside just below the cover image directly next to "About" and "Photos". Businesses can switch the position of an app to be more prominent in their list, like before, but they can no longer be used as default landing pages.
Another common downside involves the unique tabs originally created to display custom content on it's own page — a "Welcome" or "Our Products" tab for instance. These custom apps (tabs) may not look or operate the same as before.
One popular example is the "Fan Gate" option implemented to allow users to "Like" a business in exchange for access to new areas of content. Within Timeline, a user clicking the "Like" button while on a fan gate page may discover that nothing happens, leaving them sitting on the same page as before with nothing new to show for their efforts. Generally the new content can be seen after the user refreshes the page, but they may not realize this.
Be sure to test your custom apps to make sure they look and work like you want them to.
These are just some of the points to ponder for your transition to Timeline. The layout as a whole has many interesting interactive elements to help you communicate with your fan base and engage your users. For a further demonstration of what it can do, go to https://www.facebook.com/about/timeline.
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