Facebook Single Column Timeline Design Rolls Out

Facebook Single Column Timeline Design Rolls Out

As reported by TheNextWeb, among others, back on October 31st, 2012, Facebook began testing a new Timeline layout with a single column of posts.

And now, the new design just rolled out on my personal profile.  Awesome!!  No more eyeball ping-pong bouncing back and forth to read content. Presumably, Facebook is still conducting tests on certain profiles. But, my guess is this new format is imminent for many more users. I doubt it’ll take as long to switch from the old layout to the Timeline layout as that was a major overhaul. (Read comments on this new layout on my Facebook post here).

I’ve marked up a screenshot below with an overview of all the most prominent changes. If you know of any additional ones, please do share in the comments below! To view the image full size, just click on it.

Organize and hide profile sections

I rather like that you can now organize various sections of your profile as you wish. That is, except for About, Friends and Photos – they have to stay in place in that order. I was surprised to see many sections resurrected that I’d long forgotten about… like Books and Notes. Fortunately, it’s easy to hide sections that you don’t want displayed.

Tweak your cover image

It’s possible many lovely custom designed cover images will need to be altered slightly now given a) your name is now in white OVER the cover image, and b) your profile picture sits slightly lower. The overall dimensions of the cover image remain the same: 851px wide by 315px tall. However, the cut out for the profile photo is now 17px from the left edge and 64px from the bottom. (Previously, it was 23px from the left and 104px from the bottom; fan pages remain as those dimensions… for now!).


As reported by Mashable, among others, on December 5th, Facebook announced that it would be changing the label of “Subscribers” to “Followers.” Just makes more sense, really.  A Follower can see your personal profile posts in their news feed that you publish to PUBLIC. (FYI, anyone can see any public content on your profile anyway. Following someone just means you’re more likely to see their posts in your news feed). Basically the same as a fan (Like) on your fan page. Except, ahem, it’s not 100% of your Followers or Fans (or Friends) who see your posts in their news feed. That’s where promoted posts come in. We’ll leave that for another blog post.


I am stumped by the new “Highlight” feature. Previously, starring a post would make it appear “double wide” across both columns. Now, the post just gets a little bookmark flag in the top right corner and nothing else seems to happen. My guess is there is a section coming called Highlights where all your starred posts would appear for quick access. Thoughts?

New single column Facebook Timeline layout

New single column Facebook Timeline layout – click to enlarge

Fan pages next?

I predict that before long, fan pages (Business Timelines) will also get the new single-column layout.

Got Facebook questions? Come join my community of over 482,000 Friends, Fans and subscribers Followers! Just click the Subscribe Follow and Like buttons below to connect with me on Facebook!

Search please!

I don’t know about you, but my most wished-for feature now is a rock solid SEARCH… and not necessarily for Facebook sitewide (though that’ll be nice when it comes), but I’m talking about the ability to search for content on my fan page and others’ fan pages. You know, like a good search feature on every blog on the web?? 😉 Just sayin!

Do you have the new single-column Facebook Timeline layout yet? (Personal profile). Whether you have the new design or not, what are your thoughts on the features (as illustrated in the screenshot above)? Please share below:

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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  1. Sharon McPherson on December 20, 2012 at 6:22 am

    Hi Mari,

    From what I’ve seen so far, me likey.

  2. reallifesarah on December 20, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Yes! Search would be amazing!! SO many times I see something on a FB page and want to go back and find it later. Thanks for the update on the cover. Better get our designers working, just in case it comes to business pages.

  3. Jo Barnes on December 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I definitely like the new layout, the two column layout was always a little confusing, so this is a positive change. But I’ve just done all the new images for my ebook and now I’ll have to change em’ all again! Grrr! LOL 🙂

    I think a search box on fan pages would be great, and I would love to see the page tabs available on mobiles.

    Great post Mari, Thanks for letting us know. I haven’t got the new layout yet, but I hope I get it soon, before I start the vids! 🙂

  4. Gloria Rand on December 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Mari, I’m not an official friend to you on Facebook, only subscribed, so I don’t see the changes you’re talking about on your profile. Do you suppose it’s only visible to your friends?

  5. blankPixels on December 20, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    So happy about the new Timeline layout! I wonder how the business pages would look like if they implement this too. Good thing my cover images will still work with the new layout. Can’t wait to finally see this on my profile.

  6. tom texas on December 20, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    what ever happend to the rollout of being able to save updates as favorites? I never know what to believe any more so I’ll believe it when I see it.

  7. keithdshrock on December 20, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Is Facebook A ‘Newspaper’ (2-Column) …. Or Magazine (Read Across A Page). *Why Doesn’t #FB Split-Test This New Layout … With Marketers? Marketers ‘Split-Test’ Continuously For Best (Longest) Engagement. I Suppose I Must Re-Shoot All My ‘Facebook Timeline’ Videos. ….. After CHRIST-mass Maybe. Rock on. 8)

  8. Mark Frisk on December 20, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    What happens when you scroll down and reach the end of the Activity, Friends, Photos, etc. panels in the right column? Blank space? Do the updates widen out to take up the entire width?

  9. Lorri Ratzlaff on December 20, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Hey Mari, great post! I don’t have this new timeline yet, but I’m looking forward to it! Thanks for always keeping us on top of things!

  10. Daniel Moran on December 20, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    yeah I hear ya, the SEARCH will allow us to expand our knwoledge of our market and target with more accuracy and personalization.

  11. Ari Herzog on December 20, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    If I can’t pin posts to the top or highlight to fit full width, then the timeline frequency of posts will be less so that each post is equally impactful. Nice look to the tabbed navigation bar.

  12. Mari Smith on December 21, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Well said, Ari. I’m not quite getting what the Highlight is about… yet. Facebook has been buggy and shifting back and forth between old Timeline and new over the past day or so. I thought I saw all my Highlights as double wide at the top at one refresh. We’ll see!

  13. Mari Smith on December 21, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Hi @lorriratzlaff:disqus – my pleasure. Thanks for stopping by.

  14. Mari Smith on December 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Hi @markfrisk:disqus – yup, totally blank space! Hmmm… future room for ads?!

  15. Mari Smith on December 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Good point, Keith!

  16. Carol Li on December 22, 2012 at 12:32 am

    I’m pleased FB is going back to the single column timeline. The duo is way too confusing. I struggle with working out my own timeline, never mind other people’s!

  17. Janie Thomson on December 22, 2012 at 1:01 am

    I can’t see the changes either. Have you reverted, or is it only visible to some?

  18. Nicole Jolie on December 23, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Really not diggin’ the new tabbed feature. Why? The thumbnails are what
    people like to see and now people have to click the dropdown menu where
    “More” is to find stuff. The thumbnail grabbed their attention, now
    they have to dig for it. But they don’t know what they want because
    they’re only there for a few secs. It’s a force to do paid for
    advertising with a link directly to that particular page on your Fan
    Page or Personal Profile

  19. Sue Surdam on December 23, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    I was wondering if that was the case. Thumbnails were the last dregs of the landing page which was great for conversions. Too bad.

  20. Elaine Lindsay on December 24, 2012 at 5:39 am

    I can say for sure Search in Google+ is one of the most valuable tools that I use daily. Having a search function in FB would be most useful! Thanks for the update info!

  21. Janice Campbell on December 24, 2012 at 11:32 am

    I liked the two-column format, but will get used to this. Not a huge deal. I’m not a fan of the white letters for names, as it means that images will need to be dark for contrast. What if I want to post a snow pic? I like being able to drag to organize categories. And you’re right– a good search feature would be nice.

  22. Ross Mann on December 25, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    I’ve been using socialbakers, hootsuite and socialkik to increase my followers and fans.

  23. Danielle Farrow on December 29, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    My thought on highlights is that this has to do with the timeline past posts – if you go to a past period via the years / months menu, at first you only see highlights (or so I have found) and then you have to choose to view all posts, so that would remain with the new layout as well. But they may have some other plans too.
    Thanks for the heads up!

  24. tianakai on January 4, 2013 at 3:21 am

    Me neither.
    I haven’t searched to see how to change it to the new timeline format, although, I’m not that sure that I like it that much better. Lowering the profile pic and shifting About to the right doesn’t seem useful now. This layout will probably just be a matter of getting used to, like the current Timeline.

  25. Scott Ayres on January 7, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Mari has anyone else had an update if this change is coming or not? Wouldn’t it be grand if Facebook gave us notices?!!! We can dream right?!

  26. SarahC on January 9, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Thank you for a great post! As a brand manager who’s been using the Highlight feature often, I wonder how the change will tun out. Also, any ideas on impact on mobile devices?

  27. Fabian McCann on January 9, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Thank you for the information, I love surprises but not with software! Cheers

  28. Cookie Web on January 10, 2013 at 1:59 am

    Thanks for the heads up Mari! Meanwhile we wait for the time when the changes roll out to FB Pages and there’s a panic to adjust the cover pics and profile pics by a few pixels…. *sigh*. That said I’m all in favour of upgrades and adjustments where necessary…. Is it necessary every 6 months though?

  29. Diane on January 11, 2013 at 4:38 am

    I like the single column much better!

  30. Bill Hibbler on January 11, 2013 at 11:33 am

    I like it, Mari, although I don’t have it yet on my profile. Not only would I like to see them add this to fan/business pages but I’d like to see them eliminate the layout which summarizes only the most recent ‘fan’ posts in a single ‘recent posts’ box and treats fan posts in a similar fashion to how friends posts in your personal timeline are handled.

  31. Scott Ayres on January 11, 2013 at 11:57 am

    I love that little box on our pages now. keeps some spammer from coming over while you’re asleep and taking over your page. The box makes sense.

  32. Lynne Sagen on January 11, 2013 at 12:20 pm


    Thanks again for being the “GO TO ” person for what’s new and upcomming on facebook.

  33. Bill Hibbler on January 11, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    I understand Scott and it makes sense for certain pages but I don’t see that many spammers on FB like I do on WordPress sites and Twitter. I created a page with a partner that thrives on interaction with the members and FB essentially killed the page when they switched to the box. Few people seek out the comments now that they’re in the box. We could have switched to a group page to solve this issue but then we’d lose the other advantages of having a fan page. Ideally, they’d give us the option of both layouts.

  34. Frank Woodman Jr on January 11, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Good info to have as we will soon need to understand just how our timelines work all over again. Especially as I expect it to soon affect our business pages as well. The whole issue I’m sure is about better mobile handling of FB’s timeline. It’s easy to see how a single column would be much easier to manage for mobile users.

  35. Laura Norvig on January 11, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Nope, me either. Either they reverted it, or it is for friends only. Screenshot?

  36. Vineen Manarang on March 5, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    I believe it was rolled out only on some Facebook profile. And only few can see it, if you don’t have the newer Timeline layout then other friends of yours who has it, and you don’t have it, then you can’t see it.

    As my cousin has it, but I cannot see it effective in her profile yet when you are logged on her account you can see it. 🙂

  37. DavidCrowell on March 15, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Man I am glad I found this. I had no idea. I get lost with all the updates on Facebook “pages”

  38. Gary Alexander on March 16, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Not much bothers me about the new design. I did have to change my cover photo because mine had text that got covered up. I find a few things that I feel need to be tweaked, but the one thing that bothers me the most is, I just want my previous bands to show up in my about box. Guess they didn’t want that box to extend but so far. They could have at the least given me a button to extend it to show previous employers. I spent a great deal of time researching all the way back to when I played my first paying gig and now it doesn’t show up. I can’t even see it unless I go into edit mode.

  39. Gary Alexander on March 16, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Tabs or boxes. Pick one. I’m just sayin’. I don’t see the value in both. Are people to lazy to use the scroll function on their browser? If the tabs were not there maybe they could move our name and the very seldom used “update info” and “activity log” buttons back down out of the way of our cover photo. It wasn’t enough that they took away about 25 to 35 pixels vertically, forcing some of us to make a new cover photo, but they also covered up a large area of it as well with these useless things. I have welcomed and enjoyed everything facebook has given me to this point. I know it’s free and I appreciate that. It just seems that they rolled this out before it was tested enough. To many nit picky things for me to mention here.

  40. Prakash Singh Mehra on March 18, 2013 at 11:46 am

    How do I get this single column thing on my profile
    plz help

  41. jo on May 4, 2013 at 3:23 am

    Hi I am trying to set up a photography page to my existing facebook page. I don’t want the albums of photo to be “Public”… after a day of frustration I am still unable to come up with an audience selector on these new photos..Only option is “Public” I have been into all of my settings and cannot change it??

  42. ben on May 13, 2014 at 11:12 pm

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

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  43. magdanaga on January 22, 2015 at 10:43 pm

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