Timeline: In A Nutshell

You know that we've been following along with Facebook's plans to roll out Timeline to business (branded) pages. And you've been patiently waiting for news...so, here it is...what Timeline will do and stop doing, for your business.

We're going to keep it short and sweet here, and we'll go into more detail next week, after we dig a little deeper into all of the possibilities and additions.

(1) First, custom pages will still exist, but you cannot set them as a default landing or welcome. The wall/timeline will now be everyone's landing/default welcome. You'll get two images on the top of the timeline. Your profile pic should be your logo or your face if you use your face to brand your company. The size is 180x180 and will be resized as a 32x32 avatar in the feed. So, you'll want to keep that simple. It's also recommended that you don't swap it out much. Use it as your logo or brand identity. You'll also get your cover image, which is large. 851x315. This one you can swap out often, if you like. There are guidelines. You cannot put a special offer or pricing in the cover image. You cannot put your URL, phone number or contact information in the cover image. You can't point to services from the cover image.

(2) You get a short elevator pitch under your logo to say what you do. All contact information goes on your About page.

(3) You can have up to 12 custom tabs, from maps and events to Youtube and blog feeds. We can now create custom images for those apps and we can reorder them. Four will show as default, the rest can be accessed with a drop-down menu. Pictures will always be the first. After that you can reorder.

(4) You'll have the ability to add historic dates to your timeline. Company founding. Product launches. Other milestones. Milestone posts can be marked as such and will take over the entire width of the page.

(5) You'll have the ability to create a "sticky" or important post which remains at the top of the page for 7 days.

(6) By end of March, Facebook hopes to roll out a new kind of post, an offer post. More on that as I get more information.

(7) Private Messaging has been extended to brands.

(8) You can filter fan activity so you can create the right tone on your page.

(9) The Insights panel has been made much more robust and user friendly.

Each of you needs to start thinking about your cover image and logo. You'll also need to start listing historic and milestone events you'd like to get added to the timeline. You can go back as far as you need. You aren't limited to Facebook's own blip in history.

More on Timeline as we learn it!