A couple weeks ago Facebook launched a redesign of Fan Pages and I’ve taken that time to go through all the new changes so I can detail some of the most important changes in this post. The new Pages redesign actually follows very closely to the changes that were made to Personal Profiles a few months ago and I think Facebook is really heading in the right direction here.
For the next few days, you can optionally switch to the new Pages format or stick with the old one, but as of mid-March, all pages will be automatically transitioned to the new Pages format, so it’s worth making the switch today.
One of the most visible changes is the addition of the photo ribbon to the top of the page. Just like user accounts, pages can now feature a random assortment of their recently posted photos. A couple of details:
- Unlike on your Personal Profile, you can’t specify the order of the photos – it just selects the 5 most recently uploaded photos to display at random.
- You can remove photos from showing up in the ribbon – simply click on the ‘x’ in the upper right-hand corner of each individual photo.
- Note: This won’t delete the photo from your gallery, it just makes it so it won’t show up in the photo ribbon at the top of your page.
This was another big change from the way that Pages used to function; but again, it helps Pages mirror the Personal Profiles display and shouldn’t take too much getting used to. Now, instead of seeing your tabs at the top of your page, they cascade down the left-hand side. This also allows for longer custom tab names (see the image at right) and Facebook allows you have more visible tabs.
If you already had a custom landing page, everything should still work fine and users can still be defaulted to whichever page you’d like.
This is one of the most significant upgrades to the new Facebook Pages. We actually saw a glimpse of this when Facebook accidentally rolled out the feature to all users for about an hour back in December. When you click on the link that allows you to use Facebook as your page, it literally allows you to use Facebook as your page.
This means several things:
- Your notifications area () now shows new fans added and lets you know when someone leaves a comment on your wall, or likes or comments on one of your posts.
- You can post on other Pages as your page – very helpful if you’re want to post as your official presence on other pages – just don’t go overboard. This is the feature that has the biggest opportunity for abuse.
- You can now “share” items from other pages onto your page. You’ve been able to do this as an individual for a long time, but now this functionality extends to Pages and is extremely helpful.
- You now have your very own News Feed. Go around and Like different pages and they’ll all show up in your custom news feed. Just click on the Facebook logo when logged in as your Page to get to your Page’s News Feed.
- You can also set up email notifications to be sent to you when a user likes or comments on a post on your wall.
- This is a great feature for any Page managers who have been looking for real-time notification when their Facebook Wall gets some responses.
- However, if you manage a Page with a large following, you could very easily become inundated by a flood of email notifications, so it’s probably only really useful as you’re beginning to grow your page.
You can now feature up to 5 other pages in the Featured Likes section on the left-hand side of your page. Click on Edit Page, then go to the Featured Tab to select anywhere from 1 to 5 pages that you want to always display under the Featured Likes section. The other pages featured will randomly generate from all the pages your brand has liked.
This is a great way to feature timely pages, to highlight members of your organization or to give someone an added-value push on your Facebook page.
Move to iFrames Instead of FBML:
This is probably the most important and most technical upgrade that Facebook made with their recent Pages upgrade. I’ll go into more details about how to set up a Facebook Landing Page without using FBML in an upcoming post, but here’s the short of this change.
Several years ago Facebook developed their own simplified version of HTML called FBML (Facebook Markup Language). FBML was developed with the intention of making coding easier for people who didn’t know the first thing about coding. It enabled users to utilize a very simple block of code (see below) to do many things, including specifying which content could only be seen by fans as opposed to anyone who visited the Page.
Fans will see this content.
<fb:else>Non-fans will see this content.</fb:else>
Back in the fall, Facebook announced that they’d be getting rid of FBML in favor of a standard HTML control called iFrames. Essentially, an iFrame allows you, as the programmer, to call in an entire page – created and hosted elsewhere – to display within the iFrame. This actually allows for much more flexibility when creating customized Facebook landing pages, but it is a big departure from Facebook’s old standard of FBML.
Those are some of the biggest changes involved in the Facebook Pages redesign. How will you start using the redesigned Pages for your organization’s benefit?