When Facebook changed all brand pages over to the new timeline design last March, it heralded a new era for companies on the site.

Cover photos, milestones and featured images were in, allowing brands to showcase what they do in a creative way that never previously existed on Facebook.

Fast-forward a year and everyone has forgotten about the old Facebook design, instead embracing the creativity that timeline offers. Now a new change may give even more freedom for brands to market themselves…

As part of Facebook’s ongoing shakeup of its services (we talked about the site potentially stealing Twitter’s thunder and using hashtags), they have relaxed the rules on Facebook cover photos, effectively allowing brands to advertise their services on their images.

Previously Facebook prevented brands from being too direct on their cover photos, with the rules stating that they could not include:

  1.  images with more than 20% text
  2. price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on socialmusic.com”
  3. contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section
  4. references to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features
  5. Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”

Now those rules, at least for the time being, seem to have been relaxed, with the only rule being that brands cannot include more than 20% text on their cover photos.

The rules now state:

“All covers are public. This means that anyone who visits your Page will be able to see your cover. Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines. Covers may not include images with more than 20% text.”

You can find out more about the rules here.

This has a huge impact for brands, allowing them to be more direct with their Facebook marketing, and drive more people to their other sites by actively including links.

What do you think of Facebook’s changes to cover photos?

 

Picture courtesy of marcopako, facebook logo, Flickr under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license

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