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Don’t Enable Timeline on Your Facebook Page Yet. Here’s Why.

February 29, 2012

Facebook has just started letting pages convert to the new timeline format.   In case you’ve missed the details here they are: http://www.facebook.com/about/pages We thought it would be a good chance to tell you how this will affect your Woobox tabs.

There are good things and bad things about the changes.  At this point we are telling customers not to upgrade. The bad outweigh the good.  Please read below.  Facebook will not force the upgrade until March 30th.  Perhaps by then the issues will be resolved.

The Good

Larger, wider tabs.  More space to work with.
Previously, page tabs were 520px wide, but with the new layout you have 810px of content area to use.  We’ve already enabled 810px wide mode on our HTML tab (install it here: http://woobox.com/statichtml)  This lets you use HTML, Images, or external URLs

for the content of your tab and lets you fan gate the content.

New Larger Tab Icons/Images
You can now set images up to 111px x 74px to promote your tab app.  You can change these image by selecting the Pencil in the upper right corner of the tab image and selecting Edit Settings.   Then simply change the Custom Tab Image setting.

Existing Tabs Display
While they don’t fill up the entire tab area, the old format 520px wide tabs still display in the new format.

The Bad

Default Landing Tab: Where is it?
It appears as part of the migration to the new layout, Facebook has removed the ability to automatically send a user to a specified tab application on your page.  All users now see your wall, both fans and non-fans.  It’s unclear if this is a permanent change or just an oversight, we’ll keep you posted.  Update: Looks like this is going to be a permanent change.

No Refresh on Likes
This is a very big issue for running fan-gated promotions and for this reason I would recommend you do not upgrade to Timeline for Pages early.  When a non-fan clicks Like on your tab, currently Facebook does not refresh the page so we can not automatically show the new fan content.  You would have to prompt the fan to refresh their page manually.   It is hard to believe this won’t be fixed, but currently it is the main reason not to upgrade.  Update: While not fixed yet (as of 3/2),  Facebook has confirmed this is a bug and will be fixed shortly!  Update (3/7): This bug is now fixed!

What’s Next?
We’ve already rolled out wide format tabs on our HTML tab apps and are finalizing the changes to the offer apps to enable wide format.  We’ll keep you posted but expect Woobox to take advantage of all the new opportunities created by these changes and try to work around the bad if Facebook doesn’t resolve those issues..

Check out this and more with your own Woobox account; and keep yourself up to date in the future by following @WooboxApp on Twitter and becoming a fan of our Facebook page.