There’s been a lot of talk about the new Facebook pages since they were announced a few weeks ago. You may have seen the option to preview the new format at the top. If you’re like me, you previewed and then went back to the ‘old page’. Facebook is promoting this as a movement to get you closer to your fans. Like this will revolutionize your relationship with them and you will ride happily into the sunset together. I don’t buy it.
Some of the changes are good for business. Some are lame. Of course, this is just my opinion. Below are the changes I am aware of. Some are advertised by Facebook. Others are a bit harder to find.
The most noticeable change is the look of the page. Business pages will now look like the new profile pages. Pictures at the top. Tabs on the side under the picture – and less visible to the visitor.
This is one of my favorite changes. Now, instead of stalking your page, you can opt to be notified by email when someone posts a comment. This way you can respond in a timely manner, and still do other things in the meantime.
As with the old version, users will be able to see friends that also like the page. However, now they will also see other pages they have in common with your page – pages they like and your page likes. I suppose this supposed to make them feel like they are similar to you and make them want to like you.
Featured Pages and Admins
Instead of just liking other pages – previously referred to as favoriting a page – you can feature certain ones, as well as admins of the page.
Using Facebook as the Brand
Previously, the only thing you could do on Facebook as your brand was comment on your own wall. Now, you can switch to using the entire Facebook platform as your brand. So you can comment on other pages, view a news feed and get notifications. On the flip side, you can also comment on your brands page as yourself, where previously admins would just show up as the brand.
The size of your avatar has be “adjusted” from 200×600 to 180×540. This means less space for anyone who used their avatar as a picture and advertisement.
There are now two options for wall filters: ‘Posts by Page’ and ‘Everyone’. With the ‘Everyone’ option, the posts will no longer appear in chronological order. The most engaging posts will appear at the top of the wall. This is bad news for anyone who gets a negative comment that gets any support. No more pushing it down the page with content. Also, no more making your content prominent (i.e. sales, product info, contests, etc.).
Default Landing Page
Remember when you had tabs at the top of your page and you could set one of them – preferably a custom one – to be the default landing page for all non-fans? Kiss that feature good-bye. With the new page format, that is no longer possible. It’s all wall all the time.
Update: Although I asked my Facebook rep, and he told me it wasn’t possible, it turns out that you can set custom landing pages with the new format. The feature is simply in a different place. Go to ‘Edit Page’ and the option will be on the page that comes up.
The tabs have been moved to a less prominent area – replacing the info box under the picture, which has been moved to the info tab. The good news about the tabs is that the names can be significantly longer, which is good, because if they’re barely noticeable, you at least want them to be descriptive.
Basically, the “business” part is being down-sized and the personal part is being promoted. In my opinion, business can only get so personal before it stops becoming a business. But again, that’s just me. No matter how you feel about the new pages, they’re mandatory as of tomorrow. So I hope you’ll grow to accept them, as we do with everything else Facebook changes.
What are your thoughts on the changes?