Monthly Archives: February 2012
Today, Facebook announced Timeline for Pages. All pages will be forced into the new format on March 30th. For pages used as a support forum or for collaboration, the new design is terrible. A step backwards, rather than a step forward.
Not every Page is a "brand" that wants to promote an image with a nice big cover photo, or push their message to their users. Some pages, like the Social Fixer Page, are a support forum where users share feedback and ideas. My goal is efficiency and a sense of community, not a brand image. Timeline fails miserably for me.
I'm not just another user who hates change. I welcome re-designs and improvements. I'm not afraid of new features, and I like to push forward. In fact, the whole point of Social Fixer is to take Facebook to the next level and add even more functionality and features. But this change, IMO, is just bad in a number of ways.
What's Wrong With It?
Here are my initial complaints (click to enlarge):
1) I cannot remove "Photos" from being highlighted at the top of the page. Previously, I could remove photos from being featured in the "photo strip", and make the strip disappear entirely.
2) Cover photo content is very restricted, according to their FAQ entry. I can't even put my web site in my cover photo? Really?!
3) Admin panel and Timeline in general are slow. I am all about efficiency, and being able to respond to many user posts as quickly as possible. Timeline bogs me down.
4) The "About" link, which holds helpful information that Facebook has banned from the cover photo, is very hidden.
5) Default "landing" tabs no longer work. Many pages had welcome pages which introduced the page to new users. All the time, money, and effort put into these pages is now wasted.
6) "Tabs" in the old pages were a column of text links on the left with very small icons. Now they are feature prominently at the top with large icons, and only a few of them are visible by default. This really hampers navigation.
7) The default view of pages is "Highlights" which is a filtered view of what FACEBOOK thinks is important for my users to see. The dropdown to change this very is hidden and many users may not find it at all.
8 ) I can either view Posts by Page or Posts by Others, but not both! I can no longer see a single stream of all interactions on my page. Terrible.
9) Facebook highlights interactions from my friends which may be very old. Even on my own page that I manage! What good is this? Why must I see this every time I visit my page?
Unfortunately, we're stuck with what Facebook gives us. It seems to me that they want to define what Facebook is and how it is used, even if a large number of users actually use it differently. To them, everything is about branding and image and looking "awesome". But many of us just want clear, easy to use, efficient functionality. We're not all marketers trying to push a brand.
I'm very disappointed by Timeline for Pages.
Luckily, I write a little tool called Social Fixer.
As of this writing, about 300,000 people use it every day because – like me – they want to take back control of their Facebook experience. I will be working hard to add functionality and remove annoyances, hopefully before the forced roll-out on March 30th. Facebook never stops providing opportunity for me to improve on what they've built!
-- Matt Kruse
With version 6.4 (2012-02-13), Social Fixer can:
- Revert back to a single-column view
- Hide cover photos
- Hide the "Friends" box that always appears on the right
- Hide the little maps that appear under check-ins
Here's an example, using Social Media guru Mari Smith's timeline profile:
(If you are new to Social Fixer, first go to the web site and install it in your browser. It's simple and free, and you'll immediately see some of the improvements it makes after going through the quick Install Wizard.)
Single Column: Switch from the side-by-side view to a single column in chronological order.
Hide Cover Photo: If you don't want to see the huge photo at the top.
Hide Friends Box: A box for friends is always the first one in the right column, taking up space, so you can hide it from view.
Hide Check-In Maps: Under check-ins, hide the small map is shown with the location.
Close: Remove the control panel. You can always change these options in Options/Timeline (under the wrench icon in the blue header), and you can also choose to display the control panel again if you wish.
Social Fixer cannot, unfortunately, revert Timeline profiles back to the older "wall" style completely. But I will be working hard to continue providing users with the control they want to use Facebook how they want.
Also, Social Fixer cannot change how others see your Timeline profile. Since it is a browser plug-in, it only affects how you see Timelines.
Questions? Comments? See the Social Fixer Page on Facebook, and join over 250,000 happy users!
If you like the control that Social Fixer gives you, please share this post on your wall, link to it from your blog or Twitter, or share SocialFixer.com with your friends! Thanks!
Social Fixer 6.4 fixes some issues and adds new functionality. Please update to make sure Social Fixer keeps working correctly.
- Added a new "Timeline" tab in Social Fixer Options with several new options to customize display of Timeline pages. A small options panel will also appear on Timeline pages to allow quick changing of options (see right).
- Added the ability to hide the new mini-footer in the right column by hovering over it and clicking the 'x'.
- New Option in the "Posts" tab: Automatically click the "Not Spam" link on comments marked as SPAM. This is a convenient way for Page owners who are the victim of Facebook's over-zealous anti-spam feature, which often marks comments as SPAM which are not. This will automatically unmark all flagged comments (and mark them with a green left border), but then the Page owner needs to delete comments manually which actually are spam. (Most users will not need this feature, but some will find it useful!)
- Posts can now be filtered based on their privacy setting using a text-based filter and matching on the following terms: "privacy:public", "privacy:friends", or "privacy:custom". This is mostly for experienced users, who should know how this works!
- Added "Hidden Chronicles" and "Mafia Wars 2" to the list of known Apps.
- Hovering over images on Timeline pages now shows previews correctly.
- Added color-coding to the Friend Tracker – red if someone unfriends you, green if they re-friend you.
- Friend Tracker now displays a message with a link to the FAQ if it's stuck on "Loading" for more than 7 seconds.
- Updated Firefox compatibility to 13.0a1
- Facebook released a new photo viewer popup format. If the option was enabled to restore the comment button, it didn't work in these popups so users could not comment on photos in the new popup.
- Posts were sometimes being automatically marked as read when clicking on any link in the post, or randomly when new comments were dynamically inserted, if the option to "Automatically mark a post as read after commenting on it" option was enabled. A new, more reliable method of triggering this event is now being used.
- When hovering over Notifications to see the preview, sometimes the "Loading" bubble would get stuck and remain visible on the page even after moving the cursor away from the Notification item.
- Removing the last Filter and saving wouldn't actually remove it.
- When anonymizing the screen, sometimes user profile images would become abnormally large.
- Improved positioning and style when Notifications are "pinned" to the right.
- When offline, the Chat stub at the bottom would show "Chat (Offline)(0)" when chat options were enabled. Fixed to now show "(0)".
- Some users saw multiple "Add filter" buttons in the Filtering tab of Options.
- When using Chat options to control the visible list of friends on chat, long lists didn't have a scroll bar.
- With the "Stretch wide" option enabled, Timeline pages would render incorrectly – either too narrow or too wide. Stretching to full width has been disabled on Timeline pages.
New applications and games get released on Facebook every day. When this happens, Social Fixer may not recognize the app, so its posts won’t automatically get sent to a tab like others. Fortunately, it’s easy to tab new apps!
When you hover over posts, icons appear in the upper right of the post. (If they don’t, make sure Options->Posts->”Show Post Action Icons on each post” is checked). When you find a post from an app that you want tabbed, click the “+” icon, as seen here:
Your page will then refresh and posts from the app should be automatically added to tabs. If they don’t, make sure that Options->Popular->”Automatically move posts from Applications (games) into their own tabs” is checked!
But what if you do NOT want some apps going to tabs? For example, Twitter. Un-tabbing an app is easy also! When you hover over tabs, an “x” icon will appear. Clicking this will close the tab and cause those posts to reappear in your home newsfeed.
If you are wondering why tabs for applications appear sometimes but not others, perhaps this FAQ entry will help: Why do tabs for games sometimes appear and sometimes not?
Finally, if you want granular control, or you just want to check out how these choices are stored “under the hood”, you can find that in the Options->Filtering tab.
I hope this quick post helps you keep tabs on your tabs!