Well, Facebook did it again! Today they changed the look for "pages" to fall more in line with the look of the "profile" changes they made recently. Let us mention that when we say "profile", we are referring to an individual account, but when we say "pages", we are referring to a business or organization. As an admin of pages for several clients, we received an email notification from Facebook tonight of these changes, and with it came a walkthrough tour of each page to see the effects the changes would have. Once we walked through the on screen tour, we were given the option to make the upgrade immediately, or wait until March 10th when all "pages" will automatically switch over. After my inital digestion of these changes, here is what I think:
1) The most recent photos that you post to your Wall or photos that you tag your Page in will appear across the top now. This area will not include any photos posted by your fans. If you want to hide a photo, you just need to click the X. This is a great option to customize a photo banner at the top of your page.
2) The Navigation links are now on the left, just like on people's profiles.
3) Wall posts can now be shown as they always have, or you can opt to have the most interesting stories rise to the top - a great way to keep things hopping on your page.
4) Individual posting is now available!!! This change is my personal favorite. Now, if you are in a "page" that you happen to be the admin of, you can post as yourself rather than just on behalf of the organization! Thank you Facebook!
5) And...you can now post as the organization to other pages! Another great add from Facebook to draw attention back to your page - love it!
6) You can get notifications when fans interact with your page or posts. Who can I thank for this?
7) The ability to now see activity from the pages you like in your news feed - Excellent!
8) Feature other pages you like as an organization right on your page - Great Networking tool!
9) You can now select which featured pages appear on the left - This will be beneficial to many businesses looking to help build awareness of others.
In addition, they have kept the custom landing pages, but unfortunately it appears that they changed the width of the pages. To some, this may sound like nothing, but to others, this just created a whole lot of overtime! Facebook had just reduced the width of these pages to 520px in August 2010, and now they reduced it even more, to what appears to be about 500px, maybe even less. So all those custom designed pages that were formatted for the 520px layout, well, because the page is more narrow, now they are cut off on the end.
Another thing I noticed as a result of the change was that some Facebook apps that are downloaded as tabs for the pages have also been effected. I've decided to wait this issue out a bit, as I imagine there are people working overtime everywhere making the necessary changes to accommodate this recent "guess what's new?" announcement.
As a whole, the changes are positive and create more flexibility as an admin of pages within Facebook. It is safe to say that designers of both custom landing pages and of apps designed for tabs in Facebook, have some work ahead of them - I know I do.