[Update: Please note that this post was originally published on February 11th, 2011, and applies to the upgrade that was applicable at that time. It is not relevant to subsequent Facebook upgrades. For other Facebook-related articles, go here.]
If you’re an admin of a Facebook page, you will soon be invited to upgrade your page to the new format. Just as profiles were recently redesigned, Facebook is redesigning pages as well. Here are some thoughts to help you make your decision.
Thankfully, Facebook offers you the opportunity to preview the upgrade on your specific page before actually making the change. I highly recommend that you do that. It will help you understand where some familiar things have been moved to (like your tabs will no longer appear at the top of the page; instead, they’ll be along the left-hand side as navigation links). It will also help you preview your landing page to make sure it still works properly. Right now, there seems to be a bug that affects some landing pages, but not all. With this bug, the content of the page is being truncated so that information on the right-hand side is cut off. The width is still supposed to be 520px, but seems to be shortened by as must as 30px for some pages.
Be aware that this preview opportunity is intended to help you discover and resolve issues before Facebook creates any problems for you. You can opt to wait to upgrade, but all pages will be upgraded in March. (I’ve read three conflicting dates so far ranging from the 1st to the 31st.) You’re only delaying the inevitable if you do wait. So, use this time wisely to review your page, make any changes you need to make, and be prepared for the new layout.
So, what are some of the pros about this redesign? The two biggest seem to be that if you improperly categorized your page when you created it, you now actually have the ability to change that. I know that’s been a huge issue for many businesses. Second is that you can now post on other pages as your page instead of as yourself. That gives great visibility to your page, and encourages people to come like your page rather than trying to connect with you as a friend, thus clarifiing the blurred lines Facebook previoulsy created between business and friendship.
And some cons? If you manage multiple pages, you can no longer access them through the Account menu. I still have not found a way around that, other than to search on each of the pages you administer, and hope you don’t forget any. Personally, I administer a couple dozen pages, so I’m not a fan of that technique at all! But for those of you that only administer one or two pages, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Another con is that the wall filter has been changed so that the most popular posts on your wall float to the top. That means newer posts with fewer interactions will be buried on your wall (which will now function more like a newsfeed), unless you change the filter from “Everyone” to just your page. But then you’re missing out on the interactivity of what others are posting on your wall. Tough call to make, and one that I need to review some more. The purpose of this change is to ensure that viewers see high quality content each time they visit the page, but that means that content editors are going to have to be even more particular about creating engaging content so that they can overcome the popularity of an older, engaging post.
For more details about the change and what specific things you’re going to see, check out: Inside Facebook’s Page Redesign Guide.
If you’re an Aleweb client (or wish to become one) and have specific questions, or want input as to whether to upgrade or wait, contact us!