First some background – if you already know what this is about you can jump ahead to the how-to section.

Many (perhaps most?) businesses these days have a Facebook page (once known as a fan page), where those interested can “Like” them, and interact with the business. Not too long ago Facebook added Place pages. These are not quite the same as Google’s Place pages, but have much in common with them. Primarily Facebook Places allow someone to “check-in” at the place, much like Foursquare.

Naturally enough, all the “wisdom” of the “experts” was to quickly claim your business Place page, lest someone else claim it first. In the process, without explanation, Facebook offered the opportunity to merge your Place page with your Facebook Page. Many did this. And were very upset with the result.

At least two Facebook forum pages appeared, with hundreds, if not thousands, of complaints, all without a single reply from Facebook. The problem? The page format changed, with the tabs disappearing from the top of the page, and changing to little navigation links on the left side of the page, below the profile picture. In addition, the default tab was permanently set to the Wall. As a result all the effort to create custom landing tabs was largely wasted, as you could not default to those tabs, and it was unlikely they would be found as tiny navigation links.

Merry Christmas from Facebook!

Unmerge Facebook Pages
Unmerge Facebook Pages

Late yesterday Facebook reversed that decision, providing an Unmerge link at the bottom left of your page (near the scene of the crime, where the fateful Merge link is located). Thank you Facebook!

Click the Unmerge link, and your Facebook page will return to its former glory. Well, almost. Go to Edit Page (again located below the profile photo), select Manage Permissions, and set the dropdown Wall Page Shows to the tab you want as the default. Click Save Changes and you are back to the former setup.

By the way, your Place Page will still remain under your control, so you can use it for other purposes. At the very least, we would suggest a nice profile photo and info directing the visitor to your Facebook Page.