Facebook has formed a reputation for itself in having little regard for the feelings of its members when it rolls out updates. They know that we’re all so sucked in that we couldn’t imagine not checking our Facebook pages at least once a day! Don’t try to deny it, statistics say you do.
The latest round of changes were aimed at ‘Pages,’ which are what most marketers use for their business. These changes make the pages much more similar to ‘Profiles,’ which are used for personal use and are intended to personify a person, rather than a business entity. Since these impact most of the linkup community, we thought we’d gather up some of the facts and some of the things to watch out for.
Number 1 – Photos are different
Now the most recent photos (added by the admin or where the page is tagged) are listed across the top of the page, in what’s been called the photostrip, just like with your personal profile. Any fan photos that are posted to your wall, will not be added to this feed so you can rest easy if you get loads of spam pics.
Number 2 – No more tabs
All tabs are now below your page image on the left-hand side. This poses a few problems for marketers: first, the icons aren’t customizable, so the at-a-glance menu isn’t as handy as we’d originally thought. Second, you’ll want to shorten your profile pic so that you don’t push your page options ‘below-the-fold.’ You may also want to refer to these options in your profile pic to get more traffic to important tabs. Third, make sure to edit the order of these tabs to order them with the most important being first.
Number 3 – Options on the left went bye-bye
This update has removed a couple of options from the left hand menu (View Insights and Suggest to Friends) and the company description option is now gone and your fans will have to click on the ‘Info’ tab now to see a description of your company.
Number 4 – Wall Filtering
Facebook has changed the way it displays comments and posts on your wall. In the updated format, the most popular posts (the one’s with the most clicks, likes and comments) will display first. This may be good for encouraging engagement, but you could find yourself unable to move the conversation to the next topic.
Number 5 – Interact as Your Brand
This update is perhaps the most exciting for marketers. Now you can interact with other pages, as your brand. Where before you could only comment or post things as your brand on your page, you can now connect with other brands as your page rather than using your personal profile. Mega-networking can now ensue on Facebook. Some other cool things about this:
- ‘Like’ other pages and monitor their activity in your newsfeed. Great for managing multiple, associated pages, or leveraging your partner network.
- You can now get notices about posts on your page, like with your personal account.
- Feature your ‘liked’ pages on your page to support your partners. And also see how many mutual fans you have.
Number 6 – No more FBML tabs
Iframes are now replacing the FBML functionality on Facebook. If you’re unfamiliar with FBML, it’s the programming language that creates the custom tabs on your Facebook page. This is a bittersweet change for most Facebook marketers. While FBML was easy to use and required much less programming knowledge, iFrames are more flexible and can utilize a much wider range of online functionality, including social plug-ins, which are hoped to increase interaction between fans. Starting on March 11th, no more FBML tabs can be installed on pages but all the reputable app companies out there have already been scrambling to provide you with iFrame solutions so don’t fret!
Out of all the updates coming with this sweep of changes from Facebook, the majority of them are positive. If you haven’t already done so, make sure to watch the tutorial on Facebook that will walk you through the major changes. It’s actually quite good and will help you get acquainted with the updates. While there are a few things that would have been nice to see in this update, this update is a massive improvement for Facebook marketing.