Late last week Facebook announced changes to Facebook Pages. The latest overhaul will streamline the look of the site to match Places and personal profiles. Plus, added features expand the options for brands to engage on Facebook.
Here are the highlights:
New Look Mimics New Personal Profiles and Places
Last month Facebook revealed it updated looks for personal profiles. Just as users are growing accustomed to the new look, Facebook announced similar updates for Facebook Pages – plus an array of other useful features for page admins.
What’s Changing: The addition of a photostrip at the top of the Page that mimics the personal profiles. This displays the latest photos the Page has tagged itself in, according to Inside Facebook.
What It Means: Users have done creative things with this section (view examples at Mashable), but because these photos display randomly, there’s not ways to work strategically with these images. Regardless, this will immediately put an increased focus on images.
What’s Changing: Tab navigation is now on the left, instead of the top. Six tabs are displayed by default, and tab names support more characters.
What It Means: The question of whether this move from top to left will reduce the traffic to tabs remains to be seen. As visitors grow more accustomed to the layout, checking that space on Facebook Pages could become commonplace. Plus, the added character space for descriptions might aid in piquing interest. This could make strategic use of default landing tabs more important than ever.
What’s Changing: Info blurb moves from Wall to Info tab
What It Means: For brands that aren’t highly recognizable, this could hinder their ability to give their “elevator pitch” to new visitors. Welcome tabs as default landing tabs can help raise awareness and could come in handy for this issue.
The profile pictures shrink from 200 x 600 pixels to 180 x 540 pixels. Shortly after the announcement, a Facebook bug led many to believe that tab width was changing from 520 pixels to 492 pixels. The tab width will remain at 520 pixels.
Administrators Have More Freedom to Speak on Brand’s Behalf
What’s Changing: Page admins can now “be” the brand on Facebook. This includes:
- Browsing Facebook as the brand. Facebook will allow admins to jump between browsing the site as themselves or as the administrator. Along with this comes the ability for a brand to read a newsfeed of its own.
- Posting comments on other Pages.
- Liking other brands’ Pages.
What It Means: Brands have a bigger voice and greater reach. Not only will brand-to-brand relationships be seen (what if Coke and Pepsi Like each other? Packers and Steelers?), but this will also impact consumer discussions with brands on other Pages. There are co-branding opportunities in terms of cross-commenting on partner Pages. While there are opportunities for spam to increase or consumer fatigue to swell at seeing more brand posts in new places, if used wisely the increased freedom to engage in different parts of Facebook could be somewhat of a game-changer.
What’s Changing: Users will see friends who also like the Page, as well as Liked Pages that the user and the Page have in common.
What It Means: AllFacebook reports this is one of the most requested features. And rightly so – these connections mean more opportunity for organic discovery for brands. This is a good sign, especially with recent discussions around the need to break through the noise of users’ newsfeeds. The importance of having an internal process for commenting as a cohesive Page among team members will become more important to ensure there’s one voice among many admins.
Management Options Updated and How They Work with Shoutlet
What’s Changing: Admins can receive email notifications from Facebook when users post to the Facebook Page. These can be turned on or off by administrators.
What It Means: For small Pages, this will be a lifesaver. For large brands with a significant number of Likes, it will be overwhelming. For Shoutlet users, this feature currently exists. Unlike Facebook notifications that only notify of posts and comments, Page activity notifications from Shoutlet can be tailored and include more notification possibilities. For instance, users can turn off notifications for new comments and only receive email when new Likes are added.
What’s Changing: The order of Wall posts move from most recent to most relevant. If admins choose to display user posts (the other option is Page-only wall posts), Facebook determines the most relevant posts based on factors like friend comments, country, and more.
What It Means: For Page admins managing their Pages within the Facebook interface, this can make moderation tricky. Although there are email notifications, some have complained that without chronological ordering of posts, moderation will suffer. Having a social media management system can help your team catch everything and respond quickly – without being buried in email notifications from Facebook or wading through the Wall to find what’s new.
For current Shoutlet users, all changes are supported and are ready to roll when admins make the switch manually or Facebook converts all Pages to the new layout on March 1.
We’re interested in what you think about the new Pages. How do you think it is going to change the impact of Pages?