5 Tips for the New Facebook Timeline for Personal Profiles

Facebook is beginning to roll out the new timeline design for personal profiles for more users. If you haven’t looked at your profile yet, you should go check it out now. It may look similar to this.

facebook-new-timeline-personal-profiles

Basically, your updates, updates posted to your wall by others, and updates you are tagged in show up on the right column. All of the stuff that was previously beneath your timeline cover photo (about, friends, photos, places, notes, etc.) are in the left column. Also added to the left column are sections for music, movies, TV shows, and books you like plus sections for services you use like Instagram, Pinterest, Quora, and so forth.

Editing Your Sections

The first thing I thought when I saw this new layout is that I didn’t necessarily want some of these sections on my profile. Fortunately, that’s not a problem. Just hover over one of those sections and click on the pencil icon.

new-facebook-timeline-personal-profile-edit-hide-sections

Using this menu, you can choose edit all of your sections.

new-factebook-timeline-edit-sections

While the About, Friends, and Photos section are mandatory, the rest of the sections can be toggled on and off as well as rearranged.

Promoting Your Facebook Page on Your Personal Profile

If you haven’t already set up your page to come up on your personal profile, now is the time as the new About section is the first thing beneath your timeline cover photo to get noticed.

facebook-new-timeline-personal-profiles-link-to-page

To do this, go to your About tab, and add a position that relates to your page (writer, blogger, owner, marketer, etc.) under the Work and Education section. Make sure your page appears when you start typing in the company name.

new-facebook-timeline-work-education

Updating Your Timeline Cover Photo

In case you haven’t heard, the rules for timeline cover photos has changed. You can now have up to 20% text in the image you use. Amy Porterfield has a great example of marketing your business with your personal profile timeline cover photo.

new-facebook-timeline-cover-photo-peronal-profile

She even cleverly uses the “job title” as a call to action to get people on her personal profile to click through to her page.

new-facebook-timline-personal-profile-highlighing-page

If you’re not sure how much 20% of your timeline cover photo is, you can use the free tool on Mari Smith’s blog to test your own cover image – or your competitor’s!

Adding Pages & Links to Your New About Tab

Speaking of your About tab, that’s changed as well.

facebook-new-timeline-about-section

Note that you can add your pages to the About tab information and be sure to add your most important pages here. You should also add links to your main websites and even other social profiles under your contact information.

Beneath what is shown above, people can scroll through to the same sections in the left side of your main timeline design. Anything you toggled on or off using the Edit Sections option will also be shown (or not) in this area.

Highlighting Updates & Photos

Unfortunately, the new timeline layout means no more stretching a special status update across two columns. The only way to attract attention to an update is to use the Highlight option, which just adds a little ribbon to the top right of the update.

new-facebook-timeline-personal-profiles-highlight-updates

You can highlight multiple status updates on your timeline. This can help make your updates stand out over others posted to your wall or tagged with your name.

You can also draw attention to special photos in your albums by highlighting those as well. Just hover over a photo of your choosing and click the star icon. Your photo will then be expanded to cover four squares.

new-facebook-timeline-highlight-photos

The Future Design of Facebook Pages

Is it inevitable that this same design will eventually roll out to Facebook pages? I’m hoping not as I would miss the ability to stretch updates across multiple columns and would hate to lose my custom tabs, especially now that I have two of them linked directly to my websites.

facebook-page-timeline-design

You can read how to do that here. It’s free and quick to implement, so you won’t have much to lose even if Facebook eventually does change the layout for pages.

Your Thoughts on the New Facebook Timeline

What are your thoughts on the new timeline design for personal profiles, and how would you feel about this design ending up on your Facebook pages? Please share in the comments!

Oh, and if you like this article, be sure to like my page on Facebook too!

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Comments

  1. says

    Hi Kristi,

    Oh yes…I did notice the changes and explored all the options just today. I didn’t like it all that much and preferred the earlier option. I guess any kind of change takes time getting used to. :)

    Even the highlight option that was there earlier is put aside by just placing the blue ribbon as an option, and that’s hardly noticeable.

    I wonder if next is going to be the Fanpage change overs. I hope not – not so frequent :)

    Thanks for sharing these tips with us. Have a nice day ahead :)
    Harleena Singh just posted 5 Ways of Helping Children Cope With Change In Life

    • says

      I miss the full-width highlighting of posts. That made things really stand out. The ribbon sort of works, but you have to go back and highlight all of the important ones to apply it.

  2. says

    Have to say, I’m a hater on the new timeline. I think it’s confusing, and I’m always discovering people have written me notes on my wall that are hard to find — they’re now boxed into a little sidebar. Hoping they’ll soon evolve it to the next thing, which will be better than this format.
    Carol Tice just posted A Peek at the Real Life of That Writer You Envy

  3. says

    I am from Bangladesh and I am also viewing this new timeline. It is kind of jostling, but I love the new interface. changes are always welcome in facebook as I know there are a lot more yet to come.
    Blogron just posted Freelancing & Your Health

  4. says

    Thanks for the tips and highlighting the changes – I did notice today that things were different but I really had not had the time to dig into them.

    I especially love the part about hiding certain sections that show up on our profiles now – I don’t want the world to know that I am a SongPop addict :P
    Marc Norris just posted Vulcan Values and Being a Mayor

  5. says

    Thanks for this post Kristi!

    Well, I didn’t like this new timeline from facebook. The earlier one was quite good & pretty impressive. I don’t understand why they keep experimenting? why don’t they stick to one? I don’t want this timeline for pages. I wish they roll out new as soon as possible.

    • says

      The only thing that stays the same about Facebook is that nothing will stay the same for very long. They’re keeping Facebook marketers in business though – no one can keep up with it all. :)

    • says

      It’s funny that now, Google+ has changed their layout completely. They’re going to constantly battle about who has the newer layout. :)

  6. says

    Hello Mrs Hines,

    I am glad to meet you and your interesting site,

    I enjoyed very much this post because it’s simple, practical, easy to understand advice. I have already changes some things in the About section of my fb page as a results of reading this post. If the rest of the posts are like this one I can say I am lucky I found you.

    Thank you very much
    Silviu
    Silviu just posted Blog Commenting with Commentluv and My First Impressions

  7. says

    I like what you have done with your Facebook Page design. I love your profile photo page. Please tell me that is your backyard in the background and I’ll be so jealous :)

    Thank you for the advice about setting your page to come up on your personal profile in the new About section. I’ll check that out and make those changes pronto!

    Thank you Kristi!

    Sam Martinez
    Los Feliz Realtor just posted Los Feliz Real Estate | Los Feliz Homes For Sale

  8. says

    Facebook new Timeline layout seems very elegant to me. I am using the new design from last two weeks, and given a lot of time to it in understanding the new features. I really liked the call to action in job title, furthermore, I didn’t knew the edit section feature.

    Just like always, you have shared valuable tips here.
    Hamza Sheikh just posted Apple To Release iPad 5 On June 18th at WWDC 2013

  9. says

    Facebook continues to tinker and change things up. Hard to keep up with at this point, sheesh. Very cool to see a detailed description of new features, how things are laid out now, this is certainly helpful and will illuminate a few headaches. Who knows, maybe one day our social media sites won’t change every week and force us to rush to learn their new layouts and features. Until then, thanks for keeping us informed.

  10. says

    I see that you use your Personal Profile as kind of a marketing tool, and you also have a Page. I’m struggling with which to focus on as my main outlet for sharing my comedic work and my comedic life. I find it a lot of work to be posting on my Profile AND my Page. And I feel like I’m splitting the Likes and Comments I get between the two pages, which waters down the perceived amount of interactions, you know? Do you have advice on whether to use my Profile, my Page, or both? Is that covered in one of your seminars?

    • says

      It’s a tough call. Profiles aren’t meant for business, yet Facebook makes it increasingly harder for businesses with pages to get their message seen. When the new newsfeed launches for everyone, it’s going to get that much more difficult because people can sort their feed to friends only. That’s when it will be good to have connections on both – you can share your page’s update on your personal profile to give it more exposure.

  11. says

    So much great information. It’s a bit mind boggling since there are so many options. I’ve mostly kept my fb personal page for keeping in touch with family in far flung places and not at all for business.

    • says

      I use mine for a little of both. I feel like Facebook almost wants you to do that since they opened up the subscribers / followers option.

  12. says

    Nice tutorial. I have everything so haphazardly organized on my own facebook page that I thought I will never be able to learn how to fix it. Mostly I don’t spend that much time on FB and by the time I am able to understand one of its feature something new would crop up.

    The above tips are exactly how I would have liked to control my FB page.
    Keral Patel just posted Why is SEO Important?

  13. says

    Hi Kristie,
    I am a new reader of your blog but a very old reader of write-ups. After reading your first post here (this one) I have decided to comeback again to check more such awesome posts.

    Facebook has done an awesome job by modifying the UI. I just hope they donot change it soon. I am going to apply your tips on my profile. Will see how it comes out :)
    Debarshi just posted Top 20 Websites to Learn CSS And HTML in 30 Days

    • says

      Yes, I will miss being able to stretch updates across both columns to draw more attention to them. The little flag icon at the top right just doesn’t cut it.

  14. says

    Hey kristi

    I personally don’t like the new timeline on Facebook. But it is also good to customize my Facebook profile in very innovative and new ways. Surely will get in habit of new timeline after sometime. But for now I don’t like it.

    Btw thanks for posting this and letting us know about such wonderful tips.
    Kshitij Jain just posted How To Root Micromax A87 Ninja 4

    • says

      You’re welcome Kshitij. No one really likes Facebook’s updates, but there’s not much that can be done about it. Not like they listen. :)

    • says

      I’ll be sad to lose the custom tabs as they are on pages. It will be interesting to see how they would handle custom app content with this layout.

  15. says

    I still haven’t got the time to change mine. It seems a lot of work to do, but with your guidelines it gets so much better. Thank you, Kristi.

  16. says

    I, for one, am glad that Facebook’s ditched the cumbersome two-column ‘timeline’ design for the more-elegant and simple single-column one.

    2 big changes which Facebook has been rolling out steadily are (a) all comments now come with a reply button, which allow you to reply to a certain comment, giving updates and comments a thread-like view, and (b) an all new search bar called the Graph Search. Judging by those screenshots, it looks like you haven’t gotten either of those updates yet Kristi.

    Also, it is essential to mention that (if I’m not mistaken) ‘highlighting’ an updates sticks it to the top of your profile and keeps it stuck there until you decide to take it down.

    Thanks btw for info on updating sections and that you’re only allowed to use a set percentage of text in cover photos – the latter comes as news to me! :)
    Chris Anderson just posted Negotiation Tips: How to Get What You Want

    • says

      Sadly no, I haven’t gotten the new newsfeed or Graph Search. I do see the replies in page comments though. Not sure how I feel about them since you have to expand them all of the time.

      The highlighting on pages will stick updates at the top, but not on profiles. It didn’t work for mine at least. :)

  17. says

    I always tend to be annoyed when Facebook changes everything up, again, but this time it looks pretty good. The first thing I noticed is something you pointed out too- I can put my company page in the “about” section on my own page right at the top! Thanks for some of the other tips!

    • says

      Most people are. You spend so long adjusting to one look just to have to get used to another. It’s frustrating, especially for authors writing books on Facebook. Nothing stays the same for long.

    • says

      I think it just creates more engagement on Facebook and helps people become aware of your Instagram presence, which will hopefully lead to new followers. :)

  18. says

    The new facebook timelines are owesome and much user friendly compared to the old profile pages. Being an active facebook user, your article has helped me in using my timeline in an effective way.Your tip to promote page by updating work and education sounds really cool and I think that this is an intelligent way for page promotion. Thank You Kristi for this, I am expecting more such articles.
    Jees K Denny just posted Phablets – Start of a new era in the technology

  19. says

    Hi Kristi,

    Carol Amato, wrote a blog about all the special people in her life. You were one of them listed. I read a couple of your posts and can see why she puts you in high regard. Your post on Facebook is great and very informative! I will now, go, and put this information to use.
    Thank you for your caring and sharing!
    Sincerely,
    Geri Richmond
    Geri Richmond just posted Building Big Email Lists Effectively