Facebook's two most noticeable new features

Two of the most noticeable changes made to Facebook in recent weeks have been its addition of the Timeline cover photo and larger, highlighted images.

According to Social Media Examiner, Facebook made the switch to Timeline in order to turn a person or business' profile page into a "mission control" point. The profile has become a place where potential business partners, consumers and fans can go to as an alternative to the company's actual homepage, and it's up to the business to create an eye-catching landscape photo to represent it well.

The cover image itself must be a minimum of 399 pixels across while the accompanying profile picture has been shrunken down to a 180 x 180 pixel-view. For businesses, this should almost certainly be the company's logo, as it will appear next to every post made in the news feed.

The media outlet explains that one of the biggest drawbacks of the cover image is that calls-to-action are prohibited. This means companies can't tell people to Like or share the page, nor can viewers see any contact information such as web address, phone number or physical address.

"These restrictions will require some creativity in drawing attention to your business without some of the methods that have been used in the profile pictures recently," the media outlet states.

According to Facebook's website, other stipulations of the cover page include the fact that price, purchase or discount information is not allowed. Covers must also not be "false, deceptive or misleading," nor can they infringe on third parties' intellectual property. Also, businesses cannot use incentives to bribe customers into uploading its cover image into their personal timelines.

Facebook suggests the cover photo be of a popular menu item (for food service companies), album artwork or people using the business' products. Images should incite a positive response from viewers.

Social Media Examiner also points to the inclusion of larger, highlighted images on news feeds. This correlates as a way for Facebook to become more of a "life story" rather than a mere online network. Pictures and videos are now larger and appear in higher-definition to be more "eye-catching," the news source suggests.

What's more, users can highlight a story by clicking the star icon in the upper right-hand portion of a post to make it span across the Timeline, while another option allows users to pin a story, leaving it visible at the top of a Timeline for up to a week.