Facebook Timeline for Pages: Why is this so hard?

I have more pressing things to write about and, certainly, more pressing things to think about, but I can’t get beyond this at the moment.

Facebook Timeline for Pages.

I was so very excited. I love my personal Timeline. I’m a very visual person and I love photos. I love the ability to better feature my photos and stylize my profile. So when Facebook announced that Timeline for brand Pages was rolling out, I was really looking forward to the possibilities. I won’t bore you here with all of the promises that were made. You can learn about Timeline for Pages from Facebook.

What I will offer you is my growing list of complaints since publishing my university’s Timeline.

1. Where are my milestones?

With the time Facebook offered Page administrators to play around with Timeline before publishing, I uploaded historical photos and added milestones. I’m talking every chancellor’s tenure, every building’s dedication, and whatever else I could find a fun photo of. When I was finished, history dating back to 1958 was included in my university’s Timeline. And it was pretty.

Upon clicking the “publish” button, all of my milestones were gone. The list of years on the right side of my Timeline that once went back to 1958 now cut off at 2010. Instead of beginning with “Founded” as it once had, my Timeline began with “Joined Facebook.” Because these things sometimes happen and then right themselves, I’ve given my Timeline a few days to magically repopulate. Sadly, there’s been no magic yet. I will likely post all of my milestones again, but I’m afraid that these milestones will also disappear.

2. Notifications

You know that little number that appears next to a Page’s name on your Facebook homepage when there are notifications? I’m not one to see that little number and ignore it. In fact, I compulsively click whatever I need to so that the number goes away. With Timeline, there are more clicks: 1) I click to go to my Page; 2) I click to expand my Admin Panel; 3) I read the notifications in my list, but still must click on each notification to clear my queue. Yes, this is a petty thing to complain about, but that’s a lot of clicking to clear a number when Facebook should know I’ve seen the notification upon viewing my Admin Panel.

I may be alone on this one.

3. Counter-Intuitive Functionality

One of my few concerns about Timeline was the condensing of “Posts by Others” into a small box on the Page. I’ve worked to encourage members of our community to use our Facebook Page as a place to connect with each other. This condensing makes posts from users less prominent and easily missed. But then! Facebook offered the ability to highlight Posts by Others on Timelines. Hooray! Or not.

First, the process for highlighting a post is difficult to navigate. It turns out that admins should hover over a post, then click the X that appears in the upper right corner to access post options. In response to my whining about this, Todd Sanders provided this very helpful summary and graphic (below): “Alaina brought up that ‘X = list of options’ in the Post by Others box on timeline… and how ‘X’ usually means to delete/remove something. To add to the confusion, it’s given title=’Remove” in the code.'”

Remove/Allow on Timeline

What’s more, Posts by Others that are marked to be “Highlighted on Page” are not highlighted in the default view of Timeline. In order to see these posts, users need to switch their view from “Highlights” to “Posts by Others.” Is anyone going to take that extra step? Or even know they should?

Is it just me?

Despite my initial annoyance with Timeline, I’m still optimistic about what the future might hold. If nothing else, the Page will be pretty. And maybe I’m the only one having troubles like these. Have you launched your brand’s Facebook Timeline yet? I’d love to hear how it went for you.

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80 thoughts on “Facebook Timeline for Pages: Why is this so hard?

  1. you are not alone. I’ve had some of the same frustrations, and this is all made worse by the fact that it could be done much more easily and intuitively. If the admin panel was like one of those personal dashboard pages like my yahoo or igoogle where you could rearrange it I think no one would configure it the way Facebook has.

  2. You’re not alone at all. Highlighting posts that further conversation (and bring people back to your page) needs to be quick and easy. Removing spam and inappropriate posts also needs to be quick and easy. And how do you know that there’s a post that needs to be looked at? The notifications! Which are so much more inefficient now. I can see john smith liked my comment right there in the admin panel (not to mention on the timeline). So why do I need to open it? I think I’m actually more frustrated by that new behavior than anything else.
    The new admin design basically makes it take much more time and effort to do the most common functions, and that’s not good design.

  3. You’re explaining precisely why I’m a. taking an entire afternoon to transition our page, b. plan to do our timeline gradually, and c. am saving everything outside of Facebook’s interface.

  4. I really wanted to have the whole Timeline built out when we published so it would be an “ooooh, pretty” moment. Luckily, all of the text I used lives elsewhere and the photos I loaded are still there. I put them all in an album first. I’ll probably build it all back out next week.

  5. I had the same problem – a whole afternoon’s worth of work on milestones just disappeared as soon as I clicked publish! Has anyone tried re-entering them after publishing? I don’t really want to do it all again if they won’t stick (or who knows maybe the first lot come back when Facebook fixes the bug and then I’ll have every milestone twice …?)

    I logged a bug with Facebook, last night, but no response yet …

    1. Potentially good news … I just sat down to bite the bullet and re-enter my whole time line, and began by editing my very first “started” (or “founded” etc.) milestone which I had originally set at the year 1000 and which had been moved to the joining date of when I published. I set the date back to 1000, saved, and suddenly all the milestones between 1000 and 2011 that had disappeared came back!!

      I’m still a bit apprehensive of touching anything now … but sure glad I won’t have to re-enter everything!! Hopefully it works for some of you too!

      1. Update: I took your advice and added our “Founded” date back into the Timeline. The original information I’d entered came back for that milestone, as well as one other milestone I’d entered for that year. I’m not sure if I should try and add the others back in and see what reappears…

  6. I can’t even access my milestones option for my page. I wanted to add all the milestones before I went public and I can’t do it. Thus, I have to go public in the middle of the night and add everything so it is ready for the next morning? Anyone have a thought where my milestone option might be?

    1. I feel your pain, Jodi! The only thing I can think of is that Facebook might be having some trouble with the milestone function. Maybe it’s temporarily unavailable while they’re updating/fixing it? (Crossing my fingers.)

      1. I also have this problem. I’m one of two admins for the page and have primary responsibility for the transition. I have to login with the other admin’s account to add milestones, although I can edit them from my own. It’s so odd: we have the same permissions, but he was admin first…Can’t figure it out, and it’s very frustrating!

        Unrelated question: I’ve experimented with highlighting posts made by others to see how they look on the page’s Highlights view — but they’re not showing up. Will this resolve itself once I publish the page, or do highlights of non-Page posts NOT show up on the Highlights view at all?

      2. Susannah, I haven’t heard of anyone else having issues separate from other admins. How strange!

        Meanwhile, I actually had the same confusion about highlighting posts by others. It turns out that these highlighted posts do not appear on the default “Highlights” view, but only on the “Posts by Others” view. When you choose to highlight them, it makes them span across the width of the page.

  7. I had a similar problem and felt so gutted. But here’s the solution – after the page goes live, click on the Milestone tab at the top. Facebook will ask you to enter the ‘founded’ date (even though you already did this).

    As soon as you have done this – hey presto! all your previously inputted milestones appear.

    1. Someone else mentioned this fix, too, Robert. I’m glad it’s worked for you! It almost worked for me. I added my “founded” date back in as a milestone and the other milestones I’d added for that year reappeared. The others are still missing at the moment, though.

  8. Is it required to do all of the editing at once? I do not see a way to save what I’ve done so far before publishing, is there one?

  9. It is saving now, thanks!

    However, while the posts I am creating are not displaying on the current page, just the preview page, they are showing up in the News Feed. I don’t want to flood fans pages, how did you avoid this?

  10. There’s some good things about it, basically it looks pretty, but it’s not an intuitive interface and the main things that bug me are guest posts in a little box without showing any pictures they might add, and blog feeds coming in in one little box with tiny picture icons. I’ve solved this my making an iframes tab with my blog in it – but will anyone bother going there? Also I wish we could just drag the boxes around and put them where we want.

    If you want to have a look my facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tahlia-Newland-author/188047104605893

    How do readers sort out all the milestones if they want to see them, or do they get lost in the timeline?

  11. I’ve got the same problem with the milestone button not showing on my page preview . . . all I have is post & photo. Has anyone figured out a way to resolve that issue? Trying to decide whether to go ahead and publish since other admins have to add timeline stuff too or whether to try to resolve it.

    1. I am having same problem! Can’t add any milesones at all. I emailed FB twice, but no response :( Anyone reply to you?

  12. Michele and Susannah,

    If your milestone button doesn’t appear, or you can’t get the + symbol to appear in the timeline itself, here’s what we did. Make sure that in the “Your Settings” section, you’ve selected the option to always post as the page. This is why some admins could do it and some couldn’t.

    That’s where the glitch lies. I can’t think why it would have been intentional, so here’s hoping they fix it soon.

  13. I think your date may be set to the date you created the Facebook page.

    If you go to Edit page/Basic information and change your Founded date to the date of your first post, all the missing posts should re-appear.

    Hope this helps.

  14. I had the same issue with our Milestones disappearing. I added back the Founded date and everything reappeared! Woo Hoo!!! Thanks for the help everyone!

  15. Thank you for the advice about the counter-intuative “x”. I really appreciate it because I’m trying anything I can to make the “Posts by others” box more noticeable. I really feel the abbreviated user comments are a mistake in the new timeline. Our users ask each other questions and we want all comments to be seen. It feels like the new timeline has ironically made our FB page *less* social!

      1. I am glad I am not the only one that feels this way about post by others. I spent all day yesterday looking for ways to make the post show up. I am a referral based business and the comments by clients read on my page do wonders! I am hoping something changes!

  16. Your blog was highlighted to me earlier by a follower of a page that I administrate.

    I was scratching my head over the issue that “Posts by Others that are marked to be “Highlighted on Page” are not highlighted in the default view of Timeline.”. It’s a pain.

    The page I admin – facebook.com/greatlittleplaceglasgow – exists primarily for people posting up ideas, suggestions or assistance on uncovering the great little independent places in Glasgow. The posts I put up are there to prompt discussion and debate, however the principal purpose is to encourage feedback from individual followers to other followers posts. Timeline, at it’s inception at least, does little to make that easily achievable. Early days though.

    As you yourself have stated “Despite my initial annoyance with Timeline, I’m still optimistic about what the future might hold.” I’ll echo those sentiments.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

    Aw’ra best,

    Murray.

      1. This is really sneaky. The page previews showed a normal-looking timeline with everyone’s posts in place. The day the timeline was implemented across the board, they changed it so the posts were stuck in that box on the right (meaning that you can’t get rid of the box without losing people’s posts totally, however much you don’t want an ugly great box sitting there). They must have known it was going to be unpopular or they wouldn’t have done this bait and switch. I understand they want pages to look different from groups, but they could at least have given us an option even if this new style was their default.

        Is there somewhere that we can give feedback to Facebook about this? I’ve had people threaten to leave because they thought their posts were being deleted by the page admins.

  17. I was irritated that they now have this Bing Map thing when I had previously entered a lot of stuff using the old app they had before. I don’t know where that data went–I couldn’t find it. Anyway, I made a mistake entering in a date and it took me a bazillion years before I figured out I had to go to the Activity Log to edit it. It just seems weird that I can’t edit Map data from Map!

  18. Starting at the beginning of April, posts by other people aren’t showing up on the timeline, they’re only visible in the “Recent Posts by Others” box on the right. I have members complaining to me that it isn’t worth their trouble to post if the posts aren’t visible on the timeline, and even accusing me of deleting their posts, which is understandable if frustrating. From reading the comments here, it seems that this is a deliberate decision by Facebook and there isn’t anything the page admins can do about it. Do you know if there have been enough complaints that Facebook might revert to the system they were using until the end of March, when other people’s posts showed up in the timeline?

    1. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen anything to suggest that there will be any changes to Timeline for brands, but that doesn’t mean it’s out of the question. I have a feeling they’re still working out some bugs. If I learn anything, I’ll share here. In the mean time, we might all have to collectively cross our fingers!

  19. I absolutely hated timeline for personal profiles, but instantly loved it for pages. However, my biggest pet peeve is the Recent Posts by Other box, which you mentioned here. I have solved the issue as you did, by highlighting the posts by non-admins. But all I really want is for their posts to appear on the timeline just like admin posts. Because when I highlight them, they take on more importance than I want, in addition to taking up a lot of space. Can’t believe Facebook hasn’t updated this yet…or realized it’s an issue.

    1. I really wish others’ posts would appear on our timelines. Judging by the reaction to this post, we are not alone. I’m trying to be optimistic about Facebook making some updates down the road. Maybe if we all cross our fingers hard enough…! Thanks for your post!

  20. Anyone having this related problem this timelines: on my laptop my new page’s timeline looks great, but on the mobile platform Facebook app (both iPad and iPhone), no milestones are visible and the timeline chronology shows the order posts were input and not the dates they are set to.

    1. Same here – does that mean we have to wait an update of the facebook mobile app, or is there something we can do in the settings of the page ?

      1. Here is the workaround I came up with… Less than ideal…

        I changed all the milestones to status updates with photos. They still do not list in correct chronological order on the mobile apps, but at least they show up. And for people viewing on full browser, there is not a huge difference.

    2. Hi Mike ! Just found that you can change the publication date of a status, by clicking
      >edit>change date.
      still a workaround to the milestone, but at least displayed at the place and the order you want it.

      1. That is correct. However, the mobile apps basically ignore the publication date and spit out the status updates as they were entered, not as listed on the timeline.

  21. Sort of unrelated, since it isn’t about milestones …. Has anyone seen an issue with the admin panel not appearing properly? One of my clients can only see the first row, but not the second row of info like new likes, insights and page tips. She’s using IE, if that makes a difference.

    I haven’t seen this issue anywhere else… Have you?

    – Danielle
    dhohmeier@atomicdust.com

  22. YES…hate the new lack of control facebook & the fact that whatever you use for Timeline cover you cannot control who sees it – BIG glitch!!!

    Cover Photos are ‘Public’ and anyone on Facebook can see it.
    Not just your current cover photo, but your whole album is publicly visible.
    This album is visible to people in your restricted list as well.
    People can download or view all your cover photos.
    Unfortunately there’s no way of hiding a cover photo or its album. It’s public by default.
    You have to manually delete a cover photo to hide it from public.

  23. Anyone had problems trying to delete a milestone?? There’s like only an edit function but no delete/remove milestone. Somehow Facebook created multiple milestones for me and editing the date does not help.

    1. That’s interesting. I’m not seeing a “delete” option, either. I know I deleted duplicate milestones once upon a time. Are there photos associated with your milestones? If you delete the photo, does that delete the milestone?

      1. Thanks Alaina for your reply! I’m still having problems :( And no, deleting a photo does not delete the milestone. In fact, when I edit one, all of it is edited as well! So when I edit the launch date, all of the duplicates are edited. It’s definitely a problem in case we want to delete any of the milestones, we won’t right? And I don’t see other write ups as well…

  24. Is anyone managing a brand page with milestones and not seeing the milestones show up at all in mobile? They show up on the computer desktop version, but not iPhone (either through the regular FB app or the facebook “pages” app). Any thoughts? I know the “Timeline” thing doesn’t play well on iPhone, but really…no milestones?

    1. You know, I’d never checked the mobile version of my page for milestones until you prompted me. Nothing there! It seems that the mobile version of timeline is more of a visually appealing feed of content than an actual timeline. Maybe there wasn’t a way to work milestones in that made sense?

  25. INANELY frustrated with it! what’s the point of automatic posts from BabyGaga, if after they post i have to search for them so i can highlight them just so they’ll show up where they should have in the first place. i’ll say it, i HATE timeline for that alone, and it’s not my only complaint.

  26. Hi
    i am having a really funny problem with the timeline. I can create a milestone and enter text but i cant seem to attach a photo. I can publish text in the miles stones but not photoes, i have tried uploading them and also via the photo album. still no joy.
    Can any one help me with this.

    many thanks
    Rohit

    1. When you enter your milestone, the input box should include a photo option section on the right side. On the left you can enter the milestone event, location, date, and story. On the right there are two grey boxes that allow you to choose a photo from a current album or upload a new one. Do you have these options?

      1. Hi Alaina thank for your reply. i get these two boxes and i am able to updoad the image and crop it but it does not saves(publish) it. so i can create a milestone with text but no image. Also my page is a brand page as opposed to a personal page, could this be an issue?

      2. Alaina, I have these options. I can upload the photo, but it won’t save and appear with the milestone on the page. Any ideas/advice?

  27. My biggest problem with my FB pages is that I work very hard to put a lot of posts on my page. But when I look at it later, or when the viewer looks at it, many of the posts are not visible, only the highlights. So the page looks sparse and emptier. I’m sure no casual viewer would go to the trouble of looking for the faint highlights options to choose ALL POSTS BY PAGE. (Also I stopped accepting POSTS BY OTHERS because they did not show up with the posts by page which they were answering and therefore made no sense, plus they are tiny and any pictures did not show up with them.) Can I make my page default POSTS BY PAGE instead of highlights? I filled up my page with items and don’t want 40% of them randomly weeded out by the HIGHLIGHTS ONLY view.

    1. I’m having this problem too Maggie. Some of my posts just seem to completely disappear. They show in my personal newsfeed but not on my brand page timeline. Even if I click show all posts by page they aren’t there. Yet I know they exist because they have been liked by someone. Where do they go?

    2. yes im having the same issue. except even the ones chosen to be highlighted aren’t showing up so it’s looks like i’ve posted nothing. Would just rather default to ‘posts by page’ if possible but don’t know how.

    3. I have the same issue too! Other days I was able to post in my facebook page and see all my posts. Now, since today, I notice that I can see them only if I set MANUALLY ‘show posts by page’. This really SUCKS. I hate facebook so much.. they keep to change rules, costantly without stop. It’s frustrating. I hope someone social network will substitute facebook. Just like happen to myspace. I’m tired of fb’s issues.

    4. There’s not a way to set a default view for the Timeline, so we’re not able to set what people see when they arrive at our Page. From what I can tell, Facebook defaults to whichever view a user last chose. Here’s some more information from Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=161016184011834.

      I was also disappointed when Posts by Others got condensed into a box on the side of the Timeline. I encourage you, though, to think about restoring the option for others to post on your Page. While it’s unfortunate that those conversations aren’t featured in the way they used to be, the ability to post on your Page may do much to make your community feel connected with you.

  28. Why have some of my pics disappeared of my Timeline? I’m just looking back though my pics (as I wanted to show one) and discovered that it is no where to be found. As I am looking, I can think of at least 3 other photos (out of about 20) that are no longer on my page. Where are they gone, why and how do I get them back?

  29. Is there any way to go back to the basic facebook? My main facebook is still the old format but my facebook page is the timeline. I’m all about change for the better and open to try anything. I’ve had the Timeline for about 4 months now (it just decided to change on it’s own), I have to say, I’ve given it a fair chance, but I really do not like it. I would really like to have my orginal facebook format back. Is there any way to switch it back?
    Bonnie

    1. I understand your frustration! It’s really too bad. If the functionality was consistent, I think Timeline has a lot to offer. As far as I know, there isn’t any way to revert back to the old format.

  30. I’m having a similar problem with certain posts not showing up on the timeline.

    The weird thing is that it is a post by me (an image with a little bi of text) and a customer has had a conversation with me which is all the more reason to promote it, but it only shows up on ‘posts by others’.

    I’ve tried highlighting it but it doesn’t help.

    Any clues?

    Thanks!

    1. I’ve linked to my page in my name by the way in case anyone needs to check.

      Also I just realised it’s not posts by others, it’s posts by page, which is the same problem that Maggie is describing above.

  31. I just switched to Timeline, but now mt FB home page on mt iPhone just has a pale pix of a fake timeline and a button to “take the tour”. When I hit the button, nothing happens. I’m left with the pale fake timeline screen. Got any idea why? How do I fix it?

  32. Hello!
    I have been trying to figure this out this whole weekend but cant seem to find the answer. If anybody knows any info it will be really awesome! I have a fan page and it was @mention by another fan page that i liked. This post is not showing on my timeline but when i go to see their page my page’s name is hightlighted and when i clicked on it it takes me to that my fan page. /i didnt event get a notification that someone had @mentioned my page. Does anybody know why?/ thank u!

    1. It seems on my own Pages that posts where people tag the page appear in Posts by Others. I think I usually get a notification, too. In my experience, though, the notification system is a little hit-or-miss. Do you know anyone that admins another page who can tag you in a post to test the process? Maybe it was just a glitch?

  33. I’m having a very similar issue. I have a Fan Page and when others tag my Fan Page in a post, I’m not getting a notification nor is the post appearing on my Fan Page wall/timeline. I’ve checked “Posts by Others” and nothing. But when I go to the friend’s page who tagged me, I can see the highlighted tag and I can click on it, which takes me to my site. Why isn’t it showing up on my Page?? All my settings are checked to allow tagging (which is obviously working) but the notifications and actual post on my page don’t appear to work. Grrrrrrrr

  34. I’ve been trying to figure this out all week. I finally got it 5 minutes ago. Go to update page info> Start (normally says joined Facebook)> edit> choose start type> founded> enter date.
    After that you can add milestones correctly. Hope this helps.

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