New Facebook Pages – What to Expect
By Scott Thomas
Yet another Facebook change!
After the “accidental” slip of Facebook pages a few weeks ago cause so much uproar (navigation moved to small text on the left side of pages, no more ability to designate the landing tab, etc.), we suspected that a major change to the appearance of pages was about to appear. Last night it did.
Page admins will have received an email telling them about the wonderful new “features” and encouraging the admin to switch to the new layout now. The email also says that (like it or not) all pages will be forcibly switched on March 10.
If you want to see your page – you may find something else has changed – if you were accustomed to navigating from your personal page to the business page by clicking the Account dropdown, then Manage Pages – that’s gone. Search around your profile to find the links to your pages – they’re gone, too. Hope you remember the URL for your page.
Looking at the page, there is a banner at the top offering you a Preview of the new page, an “Upgrade” to the new layout, and an Upgrade to Multiple Pages. If you select Preview, you get a walk-through of the five changes Facebook lets you know about. We found another important thing that doesn’t change, as well. Here they are:
Custom landing tabs
Perhaps most important for businesses, is the one thing that doesn’t change – if you click Edit Page, then go to Manage Permissions, you’ll find that you can still specify the default landing tab. That was the issue that caused the greatest outcry when the change temporarily appeared early. This is good news!
Your latest photos are automatically placed at the top of the page (you can hide some if you don’t want them to be featured). This is similar to the personal page changes made not long ago. It provides an attractive “top” to the Wall. While it would be nice to have more control – say, with a photo album called “Featured Photos” so you could decide what appears and what doesn’t – it is attractive.
Tiny, almost hidden navigation
Facebook says the new navigation (in tiny text on the left side, below the profile photos) is “where people expect it” — really? This was the second-most offensive (judging by the outcry) change made earilier. People have grown used to the tabs at the top, and making tiny text under the photo the primary navigation is not “where people expect it” – no matter what Facebook says.
New Wall Filters
Modified Wall filters – instead of the “Just [business]”, “[business] and others”, and “just others” filters, they now have only two – posts by your page, and posts by everyone. Less confusing? Probably. More useful? Dubious.
Use Your Page as Your Page
Clearly Facebook must have struggled to come up with a way to describe what they were doing – and failed miserably! It appears that this change means that you’ll get notifications of posts on your business page, you can like other pages (as a business), and make comments on your page just like a personal page.
Yes, I know this is mentioned above. Don’t blame us – Facebook mentions it again in their Preview. This new feature allows you to set defaults for email notifications for you and for your page.
Should you change?
Should you? It’s entirely up to you. The change is a bit of a tradeoff, but in any event, it will be foist upon you next month. Change early, change later? Not much choice from Facebook.