New Facebook Timeline Pages: A Look at Cover Trends in #highered

March 7th, 2012 Karine Joly 51 Comments

Facebook unlocked the Timeline format for Pages only a week ago. As usual with changes on Facebook, the higher ed community has been very quick at adopting the new feature.

I was curious to see what some of the early adopters in higher education had done with this long-expected new format (when it was released for Facebook profiles, many wished it for their Pages).
It’s available as a preview to every Page Admin for now, so the switch is still optional. However, it will be rolled out to all Facebook Pages on March 30, 2012.

So, I did a bit of totally unscientific research by checking some of the pages listed in the 2011 State of the Facebook Pages in higher ed. I also asked over Twitter followers who made the switch to share the address of their Facebook page.

[blackbirdpie url=”!/karinejoly/status/177071745239494657″]

As you’ll see there are different approaches for the cover image of the new Facebook Timeline Page: campus scenery, winning sport team, emblematic monument, designed branding banner look including some calls to action or important info (I like Medaille College’s take: when you look at it on a desktop screen you can actually see your own face reflecting in there)

Here’s the resulting sample of 15 higher ed Facebook Timeline Pages (Yours not there? Add its link in the comments below!) in no particular order:


Indiana University














And, in case you want a bird view of all these Facebook Timeline Pages, here it is:

Please add your own Timeline Page by posting a comment below!

51 Responses

  1. I used the unique features of the Timeline to provide a history of the U –

  2. Mary Baldwin College switched to timeline last week.

  3. Chris Syme says:

    These are awesome! Thanks for collecting these, Karine. I don’t think Facebook is going to be cruising looking for violators of their cover photo policy, but it might be a good reminder to take a look at their guidelines. Cover photos are not supposed to include the following (from Facebook’s Help Center):

    “Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
    Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
    References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
    Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”
    All cover images are public, which means anyone visiting your Page will be able to see the image you choose. Covers must not be false, deceptive or misleading, and must not infringe on third parties’ intellectual property. You may not encourage or incentivize people to upload your cover image to their personal timelines.”

  4. Jennie Moore says:

    Fisher College switched over to the timeline as well, using a similiar branding style for both our main page and admissions pages.

  5. Curtis Wech says:

    @Karine: Thank you for the insightful email and article this morning!

    The College of Adult & Graduate Studies at Wisconsin Lutheran College made the switch this past week.

  6. Karine Joly says:

    @Chris Thanks for the reminder of the Timeline Cover TOS!

    And, thank you everybody for sharing your Facebook Timeline Page. Keep them coming!

  7. Thanks for this info, Karine. Great examples here. Here’s the timeline page for Western Washington University:

  8. Great article. Here’s the Drew page I tweeted you about:

  9. Great article. Here’s UNB’s:

  10. Love it, Karine! Thanks for putting this together. One more to add to your list:

  11. Thanks for this collection! Trinity College implemented the Timeline as soon as we could.

  12. Lori Packer says:

    Thanks for the inspiration, Karine! For our cover we plan to use the winner each week from our homepage Photo Friday feature, where students, alumni, faculty, and staff submit their own photos. Ours is live at

  13. Great info, Karine! Nice to see how other universities are using the new Facebook Timeline space. We launched our new advertising campaign at St. Edward’s University this week. Decided to showcase one of our billboard ads. If you’re in town for sxsw, drop by! We’re off exit 231 on I-35.

  14. Karine Joly says:

    @Marcie Unfortunately, I’m not one of the lucky SXSW attendees. Thanks for the invite, though :-)

    @Lori That’s a really neat idea!

    Thanks to everybody who posted. They look great. Keep them coming if you haven’t added yours.

  15. Penn Medicine Alumni went live when the Timeline rolled out – you can see it here:

  16. The University of Central Florida’s College of Business Administration has it live as well –

  17. The University of Wisconsin-Madison page now uses timeline –

  18. Hi Karine!

    Sorry I missed your tweet. Duke is here:

    Thanks for the great post!

  19. DePaul switched earlier this week. We’ll be adding milestones steadily as we get our photos digimarked.

  20. Ross French says:

    UC Riverside switched over this week. Still not totally happy with the little photo, though. We may have switched it by the time you look at it.

  21. Beth Evans says:

    St. John’s University has become an early adopter of the Facebook Timeline. Please check out our Undergraduate and Graduate pages. Also, our Official Facebook page for the university

  22. Audrey Hoffman says:

    Alvernia University’s is using timeline:

    The plan is to switch the cover picture weekly.

  23. Mike Rivera says:

    I chose to advertise our selection as a presidential debate site this October. I also used the about us text area to lend further support for the debate.

  24. Caelie says:

    Here is the Timeline page for the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Since Match Day is on Friday, our cover photo this week is from last year’s Match.!/Maryland.Medicine

  25. Sandra Roe says:

    We just switched last week. We have three different campuses and it is difficult just to show one campus image. Instead we went with our current campaign theme. Success Starts Here.

  26. Dena Selmer says:

    Here’s Rhodes College … switched over last week.

  27. Donna says:

    Elizabethtown College went live with it this week too –

  28. Shauna says:

    Emmanuel College in Boston switched over too:

  29. Tara says:

    Graduate Admissions at the University of Bridgeport made the switch a few weeks ago! We’re updating it as we go along…

  30. Paul Kelly says:

    Thanks for rounding up all of these examples, really useful.

    I feel like I’m missing something really obvious, but how do you add a map of your campus location to the set of tabs?

  31. Sheila says:

    Florida State College switched this week!

  32. Zack Rosen says:

    We implemented timeline as soon as we could. Rotating cover photos to keep it fresh

  33. Kevin Manne says:

    We brought photos and images out of the college archives and shared them with the world! Check out the Genesee Community College timeline here:

  34. […] 1.) Choose a cool cover image. The most visually striking feature of Timeline is the new cover image at the top of the page. This image is an opportunity to show visitors to the page — especially new visitors who have not yet liked your page and do not yet potentially get your updates through their News Feeds — something unique and gorgeous about you. Karine Joly at compiled a list of some example cover images from early adopters in higher ed. […]

  35. Jim Marko says:

    Not sure if this has been submitted or not NJIT:

  36. Jeremy says:

    Southern Oregon University –

  37. A little late to the party, but here’s Mars Hill College’s: We used a generic version of a cover photo template we’ve been providing for our alumni (, and we’ve just begun filling in the timeline with some events of historical significance in the life of the college.

  38. Mary Drennon says:

    Late as well! Here’s Texas State Technical College’s:

  39. James McGuire says:

    Really late to the party! Here is Salve Regina University’s 1st shot at the cover page & timeline: We are also going to experiment with creating branding skins for department & administrative pages to choose from in order to help generate some consistent identity.

Got a question or comment?