Facebook has begun rolling out the new Facebook pages design since last Friday, so these are the Pages for brands and organisations, since the Facebook profile pages were updated a few months ago.
The up-shot is all good – Facebook are empowering brands to be more interactive, responsive and visible, we’ve summarised the key changes below – hope it helps.
A word of caution first! It appears to be in beta since the comments on Facebooks official update indicates a lot of problems, mostly around Wall post updates no longer being in chronological order thus making interactions between page owners and Fans very difficult to manage. Expect this will be ‘fixed’ before the forced roll-out early March. Here’s an example from Heather Chastain “please help, this is the second day in a row i’ve been unable to respond to posts made on my business page for 2 days now.” Not great, Facebook!
So what’s changed?
- The Layout — It’s a pretty big upgrade rather than a re-design, the new Facebook pages layout now resembles places, the upgraded profile and the site’s homepage, the navigation bar now sits on the left-hand side of the page under the main image and — what really matters — you have five photos at the top of the page, great as a promotional space.
- The Brand vs The Administrators – I think this is the biggy, a great move. Essentially, administrators may now toggle between posting comments as themselves or as a page administrator to the brand or organisation. This is critical since adding a face to a brand is critical to make the conversation much more personal rather than brands speaking at the customer.
- Interact As Your Page — You can now browse through other Facebook pages, upload photos, and do all the activities that an individual can do, only as a page (your brand or organisation). Note you cannot post onto user profiles as a Facebook page cannot have friends. All you need to do is switch over to acting as your page (rather than you personally) with the click of a button. Useful stuff to build awareness with some tactical interacting, liking with other key influencers.
- Featured Likes and Admins – Now, on the left hand side of the Facebook Page, you can show “Featured Likes” (other Facebook pages that your page has Liked, given you can now interact as your page) and “Page Owners” or admins (you don’t have to display all of them, just the ones you want users to see)
- Improved management – there are improved admin notifications, plus the admin’s newsfeed will stream activity going on from the brand page and other pages that you’ve Liked – both will help improve how responsive your are to comments and posts, there are also enhanced anti-spam setting for key words or phrases alongside the management of if and what users can post into the page feed
- iFrame support – Don’t worry, there’s no API changes so any applications running should be fine. However, the Facebook Developers Blog has announced that pages can finally feature iFrame tab applications, iframe web pages within a tab – something it announced late 2010 but never seemed to move forward, apparently this will be in place for March 2011. Facebook is supposedly then phasing out FBML as the development option.
A few areas of lesser interest…
- You can now edit the page category – this was fixed before
- You can see mutual friends and mutual interests (as you can with other users profile pages) between the user and the brand page
- There’s an expanded tab name space which means you can try using longer, descriptive titles applications installed as tab
- The page blurb box under the profile picture is now in the info tab, not great for the benefit of a short positioning piece?
Is there anything that you think I have missed here?