5 Facebook Changes: Ticker, Photos, Timeline for Pages and More

Every time you log on to Facebook, you may notice a subtle change… or a massive change! This post serves to address a few of the smaller changes you may not have noticed yet, and also to let you know about a couple of major changes coming in 2012!

1. Hide the Ticker!

If the constantly-moving river of activity on the top right of your home page is terribly distracting to you, good news – you now have the option to hide the ticker! Just look for the teeny wee arrow in the upper right corner of your ticker and click to hide your ticker. It’s a toggle on/off, so just click again to show your ticker any time you wish. See screenshot below:

How To Hide The Facebook Ticker

Hide the Facebook ticker

If you tend to view your ticker as part of your chat sidebar and you wish to reduce the size of the ticker or hide it all together, just click the line in-between the ticker and chat area and drag to where you want it.

Facebook Ticker Chatbar Line

To re-size your ticker when appended to the chat sidebar, click and drag the line up or down.

2. Hidden posts and comments “not spam”

I’m sure the meaning of the “grayed out” comments on both fan pages and profiles/Timelines is not obvious to many users. These are comments flagged as spam by Facebook’s algorithms. These types of comments shaded in gray, are known as “hidden comments” and are only visible to the person who made the comment and the page/profile owner.

Now, to unhide bona fide comments, as an admin of your page, instead of having to click the small “x” in the upper right corner of the comment and then click “Unhide Post”, you just click on “Not Spam” and voila the comment is displayed. See screenshot below:

Facebook Comment - Not Spam

Now click "Not Spam" to instantly unhide - no need to click the "x" anymore (unless you wish to delete the comment).

(By the way, the post above is from my fan page wall, and Victor brought up an excellent point about posting frequency per industry. See the post and my response here).

I’m particularly happy about this small, but significant change on my Timeline as previously when you clicked the “x”, that automatically deleted the comment without any other choices. Now, it’s real easy to unhide with the “Not Spam” link on the comment itself.

Subscribe to my Timeline public updates here:

While on this subject of “not spam,” make sure you are checking your Hidden Posts on your fan page every day. You might be missing gold in this section. Just like the grayed out comments, these are all wall posts Facebook has flagged as spam and they are not visible on your fan page wall to anyone but you and the person who made the post. Access your Hidden Posts area by clicking the link directly below your Wall link:

Facebook Hidden Post Link

Access your "Hidden Posts" area just under the Wall link

When you look through your Hidden Posts, to unhide any bona fide posts (which puts them back on your main wall, visible by anyone), just hover over the top right of the post and either click the little globe icon (for wall posts) or the little gear icon (for @ tags), then click “Unhide Post.”

Facebook Hidden Post 1

Facebook Hidden Post - globe icon for wall posts

Facebook Hidden Post Gear

Facebook Hidden Post - gear icon for @ tags

3. New photo viewer

You may have noticed a brand new photo viewer “lightbox” that is now darker in the shadowing, and has a much more compact view. It seems Facebook designers changed up the layout so as to maximize every bit of real estate above the fold. Thing is, some photo features have now been relegated to the small “gear” icon at the top right. You’ll want to click that to access the rotation right and left, and the download link.

Facebook Photo Viewer - Options

Facebook Photo Viewer - click the gear icon for additional options

Now, it seems Facebook likely changed up the photo layout in order to have room to display ads. But the ads show on some photos and not others. Many of my Facebook fans thought perhaps the ads showed only when there weren’t any comments to display, but I’ve seen ads on photos both with comments and without. I am not seeing ads on any of my own photos, though. Only on other people’s photos. Hm, odd.

4. Private messaging between fans and business pages!

You may recall that Facebook nixed the feature to be able to send your fans a private message en masse, otherwise known as an “Update.” Invariably, these Updates all ended up in the “Other” email inbox and were rarely seen so, of course, were not that effective at all.

However, good news! Facebook is currently beta testing a hot NEW feature for page admins to be able to email fans/visitors to their page and vice versa. The feature is being tested in parts of Asia. I’m super excited about this one and look forward to seeing the impact this has on businesses of all sizes. For instance, imagine the impact of a prompt, personalized, private response when a customer or prospect has a grievance – how quickly and easily this can be turned into a positive situation and a customer for life. (Of course, you’d still want to indicate on your wall next to the person’s comment that the situation is being resolved).

Consumer facing businesses will find the [private messages for business Pages] feature particularly useful as it enables more personal communication with individual customers, opening the possibility of a greater level of customer service on Facebook. The move is also likely to cut down on the pain of off-topic comments on company pages and reduce communication lost when Facebook fans fail to take their comments to customer service channels outside of the social network.

The move isn’t an all out opportunity for business to contact customers, however, as communication must be initiated by the customer. However, once that has been done, the conversation is open to both parties. ~TheNextWeb

Facebook Private Message Option

Private Messages for Pages is optional. Once enabled, fans and visitors will see a Message button at the top right. And, Admins will see a "Message" option next to wall posts by fans/others. (Image credit: TheNextWeb.com)

[HOT TIP: Make sure you and your team begin discussing now how you will integrate Facebook Page messaging into your marketing plans and community management, in what circumstances you'll respond privately, and who on your team will be responsible for managing incoming email.]

Come join our community of over 200,000 fans and subscribers!! Just click the Subscribe and Like buttons below to connect with me on Facebook!

5. Timeline for fan pages?

Last but not least, rumor has it that Facebook will be announcing Timeline for Fan Pages at the first ever invite-only Facebook Marketing Conference in NYC on February 29th, 2012. Take note, from BusinessInsider.com’s source:

Timeline is coming to Brand Pages. Many marketers remain ignorant of how it’s going to work and how it may affect them. Most people don’t even know.

Hmm, stay informed, stay tuned! At minimum, Facebook Timeline for Business Pages will likely have the large cover image. Now’s the time to get discussing with your marketing team how you will make best use of this prime real estate (that may take the place of custom landing tabs?), how often you’ll change it up (to tie in with promotions, seasons, etc.), and more.

My guess is custom tabs will remain, but will be visually displayed very differently. Possibly in the small “box” display like personal Timelines.

Now, what I would REALLY love to see on fan pages is a SEARCH (and/or ARCHIVE) feature. Imagine the absolute goldmine of posts on your page wall and how awesome it would be to have indexed archives that can be easily searched by your Facebook community. (Facebook Groups have this search feature). But then, fresh content and fresh engagement is (currently) the name of the game.

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I trust you enjoyed this post and picked up a few valuable tips!! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, particularly on the new Timeline for Business Pages coming soon, and the private messaging between Facebook users and business pages. I’d love to hear from you.

Mari Smith

Forbes Top Social Media Power Influencer | Facebook Marketing Expert | Globe-trotting Speaker, Author | 'Mari like Ferrari' | Bubbly Scottish-Canadian!

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Posted in Facebook Fan Pages, Facebook for Business, Facebook Marketing, Facebook Tips
  • http://exciramedia.com/ Shannon Steffen

    Thanks for the great insight, Mari. It’s awesome to see the Facebook changes but many people are worried. Humans, by nature, are opposed to change. Your article should help them feel more comfortable by putting some control back in their hands.

    Brilliant!

  • http://www.realtimetricks.com RealTimeTricks

    Oh that’s great. I didn’t saw those new features except hiding ticker. Thank you for introducing these new features to us.

  • Pauline

    Hi Mari
    Thanks for sharing this, the way Facebook keep changing features it can be difficult to keep up. I did not know about hiding the ticker and it had become very annoying for me so thanks for that!

  • http://twitter.com/MrDrewLarison DrewLarison

    Really excited for the Timeline for Brand Pages.

  • Kristen

    Thanks for all of the great info.  Would you happen to know if it is still possible to private message someone that has the new time line even if they are not your friend.  I like to introduce myself while/before sending a friend request but can’t seem to find out how to do it when that person has the new timeline.  Thanks!

  • http://marismith.com Mari Smith

    Hi Kristen — great question. Yes, absolutely. The Message button on the Timeline is now just below the cover image on the right side. If you don’t see the Message button, then the person has set their privacy so only friends can email him/her. Hope this helps!

  • http://www.lornepike.com/pikespeak Lorne Pike

    Another great summary, Mari. Thanks yet again. Bless your Scottish Canadian heart! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/dgemus Don Gemus

    If you admin a page that posts primarily educational/informative posts, and not so much on interactive type posts, how do you keep EdgeRank from eventually excluding your posts from everyone that liked your page?

  • David

    Really great article. Do you know if fans will be able to send attachments (i.e. pics, docs, etc) with their private messages to fan pages?

    Also, let’s hope Timeline for Fan Pages doesn’t change our fans’ user experience for the worse. There’s always a method behind FB’s madness, though. I’m waiting for the day when users will be able to make pages they are fans of exactly as they want them to be (i.e. I want tabs to go over here, photos should go over there, updates are in this part of the page, etc. Each fan can create their own visually desired set up).

  • David

    Good question. One of the newer features of EdgeRank allows page admins to compare their success (or lack thereof) to other pages that are in the same industry or sector that they’re in. You’re basically competing with them for newsfeed space.

  • http://www.fb.com/socialbizniz Bev Hayden

    Thanks Mari – this is GREAT info!

  • Lisa

    Thanks for the update Mari. Can’t wait to start your course tomorrow! With Timeline coming to pages, I am concerned about how it will work with current custom tabs or if everything will need to be re-done. While I love the feature of the large cover photo, I work with a lot of small businesses, and many had a hard time just getting their profile photo customized, and this could be a challenge and a missed opportunity.

  • Lisa

    Thanks for the update Mari. Can’t wait to start your course tomorrow! With Timeline coming to pages, I am concerned about how it will work with current custom tabs or if everything will need to be re-done. While I love the feature of the large cover photo, I work with a lot of small businesses, and many had a hard time just getting their profile photo customized, and this could be a challenge and a missed opportunity.

  • Mary Morse Larson

    Great info! That’s great that we can private message a customer, but not being able to reach out to all who like your page is still very disappointing.

    I’m excited to see how Timeline works for pages – it would be great if tabs were more noticeable.

    Also I’ve had some experience with the grayed-out spam comments. From what I could tell, the friends of the person who posted the spam comment could also see the comment.

  • Mary Morse Larson

    Great info! That’s great that we can private message a customer, but not being able to reach out to all who like your page is still very disappointing.

    I’m excited to see how Timeline works for pages – it would be great if tabs were more noticeable.

    Also I’ve had some experience with the grayed-out spam comments. From what I could tell, the friends of the person who posted the spam comment could also see the comment.

  • Mary Morse Larson

    Great info! That’s great that we can private message a customer, but not being able to reach out to all who like your page is still very disappointing.

    I’m excited to see how Timeline works for pages – it would be great if tabs were more noticeable.

    Also I’ve had some experience with the grayed-out spam comments. From what I could tell, the friends of the person who posted the spam comment could also see the comment.

  • Mary Morse Larson

    Great info! That’s great that we can private message a customer, but not being able to reach out to all who like your page is still very disappointing.

    I’m excited to see how Timeline works for pages – it would be great if tabs were more noticeable.

    Also I’ve had some experience with the grayed-out spam comments. From what I could tell, the friends of the person who posted the spam comment could also see the comment.

  • Jennifer Rose Bryant

    I am so thrilled to be informed by such an amazing lady.  Mari thank you :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/prueonline Prue McElwain

    Great information! Thank you!

  • Janet Wilshire

    How can I keep friends pages from jumping ? When I scroll down it will jump back to begining all on its own .I just quit trying to read .Thank you

  • Gina-Dianne Harding

    I am so glad that a search feature is in the works.  I hope you’ll be able to search by  name of the person posting….. maybe even commenting.  

  • Cwdesign

    I’m with Lisa below.  I’ve built a lot of i-frame pages for my customers. Are the custom tabs and iframe pages going away? how about the reveal page? That’s been a great tool to get people to like your page and in my  opinion, not too obtrusive to users.     

    I like the big image upon viewing a page for the first time, I just hope they won’t seriously alienate the developers who have been creating tools for business owners, that’s a lot of work down the toilet potentially. 

  • LiO

     I really hate this. First I took away ONE photo from my loggphotoalbum AND it bacame empty. Now when I upload photos from my computor ALL photos shows in ONE LOGG/Line in my timeline. Bloglovin does the same. It works with mobilphone photos. I WANT MY LOGGPHOTOS to get in one by one too – not all in one. Please. I WORKS FOR OTHERSI always send some lines with my photo – it look stupid In my timeline!HELP!!

  • Paul Fairburn

    Hiding ticker point: If you have a large screen and the browser is more than about 1240 pixels wide the ticker behaves differently.  The ticker and chat appear to the right of the Ads, instead of above them. I’m sure that’s why FB want to give you the option to hide ticker on smaller browser layouts – it makes the ads more prominent. :-)
    Incidentally – on wide browsers you can still hide the whole ticker/chat panel, the button for that is bottom-right.

  • Chris

    How do you compare industry pages against each other?

  • Guest

    Thanks for the updates Mari. Anxiously awaiting more info on Timeline for Pages!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Junniper Jennifer Apodaca

    Brilliant. I did notice the subtle changes. It’s great to know all that is on the horizon when it comes to Timeline’s and fan pages. I never thought about the new photo viewer as the way you described it, as using all the real estate above the fold.

  • Rezasor_ir

    salam

  • Stevenjan777

    Mari
    Facebook disabled my account 2 weeks ago NO warning! I am desperate and have emailed them 100 times even phoned them and no one answers me! Can you help????

  • Shanahendsbee

    I know that people would have to like the fan page in order to like a photo or leave a comment…this doesn’t seem to apply right now…any way to fix this?

  • Sariyamalik

    my updates are not shown on the timeline of my page however i see that post on my my home..what i should do??/

  • Chris

    so i changed my facebook like a month ago to timeline and never had a problem and everyone can see it the other night my girlfriend got the request on facebook about switching to timeline so she did and she was telling me about it and wanted me to look at it so i went and looked and i dont see the timeline its still the old version and i tiold her and shes like see i have the timeline on her phone with her account but why cant i see it and the other night i tagged her in a comment and it will only show up on her wall if i look at it on the computer if i look from my phone it isnt there???questions can someone please help

  • Kimberly Norwood

    Hi there,  I have liked a business page but cannot see my posts when I am offline. Is there a way to make it visible or is it all about on the page’s settings. Thanks!

  • Pingback: How to Direct Messages Your Fans From Your Facebook Places Page

  • Tammy

    If you send someone who is not your friend on facebook a message, does this message go to the “other” mail box? And also, does the new “seen by” feature works on people who are not friends with or only people you are friends with?

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  • dani

    Well to me Facebook Timeline is not that great option to many of the
    users i wish they come up with something else in near future
    ??? ???????? ???? ????? ?????????? ?????? ?????

  • mino

    i love you

    ??????????? ???? ??????? ?????

  • katrin

    Thank you very much., You are a good writer.
    ?????? ???? ???????? ????????

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