Report: Cover Images Draw Eyeballs On Facebook Timeline Pages

By David Cohen 

Eye-tracking outfit EyeTrackShop turned its eyes to timeline for pages and found that the cover image was king.

EyeTrackShop’s findings, as reported by Mashable, ran counter to those from another eye-tracking study earlier this month by Simple Usability, which concluded that the importance of cover images was overrated, saying that most users did not notice creative combinations of the cover image and profile image, and many thought of the former as advertising space.

In its study of 30 participants who were shown timeline pages at 10-second intervals, EyeTrackShop found, as reported by Mashable:

  • Only 30 percent to 40 percent of participants viewed ads on timeline pages, compared with 80 percent on the old, non-timeline brand page layout. In both cases, the higher on the page the ad was placed, the more attention it drew.
  • Cover images replaced wall posts as the main attraction, with participants drawn to them first and spending more time viewing them than other content on the timeline pages. EyeTrackShop said 100 percent of participants looked at the cover images, while that figure for profile photos on the old brand pages was 65 percent to 92 percent.
  • Cover photos with pages, such as those on the timeline pages for “Good Morning America” (pictured below) and The Muppets, attracted more attention than faceless cover images, such as those for the Dallas Cowboys and Pepsi. (Pepsi’s current cover image does contain faces, so maybe someone at the beverage giant was listening.)
  • The two columns of the timeline layout did not fare well, as participants looked at ads, navigation buttons, and brand logos first.
  • Likes, events, and applications benefited from the move to timeline for pages, as they drew far more attention than they did when located on the right-hand side in the old layout.

Readers: What parts of timeline pages do you find yourself drawn to?

Image courtesy of EyeTrackShop, Mashable.