Last fall, Facebook launched a major site redesign that primarily impacted the profile page, home page, and application developers. With the redesign, the Facebook profile page changed from a “box-oriented” design to a “Wall and tabs” design to make sharing more prominent and viral. Now, Facebook is preparing advertisers and brand managers for a similar redesign to its Pages product for businesses that could launch as soon as sometime in the next few weeks.
With the Pages redesign, business Pages will now look much more like Facebook profile pages. According to information provided to advertisers, Facebook is moving Pages to a “Wall and tabs” design:
- The Wall tab, containing all the latest updates and Wall posts, will become front and center.
- Most static information will live on an “Info” tab, and most Photos will now live on a “Photos” tab.
- Most custom content and application boxes will be moved to a “Boxes” tab, though some narrow boxes can remain on the “Wall” tab.
- Page admins can add more application tabs to their Page if they so choose.
In addition, Page admins can now share Status Updates on their page like regular Facebook users can on their own profile.
Full screenshots and details on all the changes, including the steps that Page managers need to take to migrate and optimize their Pages to the new design, are below.
Above: New design of Facebook Pages (from Facebook newsletter)
The New Wall Tab – Making Pages More Dynamic and Viral
Like the redesigned Facebook profile pages, Facebook Pages for business will now be focused on the “Wall.” This means that Notes, Photos, and other information shared by businesses, celebrities, and musicians – along with content shared by Fans as well if the Page admin desires – will appear front and center. This design will make Pages feel much more dynamic and active.
In addition, content posted on the new Wall will show up in Fans’ News Feeds more often. Just like information shared by your Facebook friends shows up in your News Feed, information shared by Pages you’re a fan of will now show up more. This means posting updates to your Facebook Page is now a lot more viral, as more News Feed distribution could drive significant traffic to your Page.
Finally, Page admins will be able to choose default settings for a) who can post to the Page’s wall, and b) what the default view of Wall posts is. Admins can either allow only other admins to post content to the wall, OR allow Fans to post to the Wall too. However, even if Fans are allowed to post, Page admins can still set the default view of the Wall to “Posts by Admin.”
Status Updates – Now for Pages, Too
In addition to being able to share photos, videos, and notes on Pages, Page admins will now have a powerful tool previously only on Facebook profile pages – Status Updates. With Status Updates, Page admins can now post short blurbs that Fans might find really interesting and engaging. Status Updates have the potential to become a very powerful tool for brand managers.
Application Boxes – Changing Places
With the Pages redesign, application boxes, which appeared on the old Page anywhere below the core info modules, can show up in one of two places: 1) narrow boxes can show up in the left column of the Wall tab, much like they can on Facebook profile pages, or 2) on the new “Boxes” tab. This means that there are now more constraints on where custom content and application boxes can appear on Pages.
For those Page owners who have added custom content or application boxes to your Pages, your boxes may not appear in the same arrangement on the Boxes tab as they did before. You’ll need to check your Page’s admin settings when the redesign launches to make sure your boxes are in the desired location.
Tab Management – Choosing a Landing Page
Now that Facebook Pages have multiple tabs, Page admins can choose which tab to show non-Fans when they land on the Page.
Which tab should Page owners choose for non-Fans to land on? For most, the Wall or Info tabs will likely be the best choice. However, Page admins who have developed custom content might also want to choose the Boxes tab or a custom application tab (application tabs can now be added to Pages, just like they can on Facebook profile pages). The Boxes tab should look a lot like the old Facebook Pages for those who added custom modules.
No matter which tab admins choose, both Fans and non-Fans can be driven to any specific tab through ads. And Fans who arrive at the Page organically will always be taken to the Wall tab.
Choosing a Profile Picture
Finally, Page admins should make sure that a profile picture is selected for the Page. Previously, Pages could have FBML, Flash, or iFrame boxes set as their profile picture, but with the Pages redesign, all Pages will need a standard image.
In summary, updates to the design of Pages should make Pages more dynamic and viral, and a more powerful overall product for brand managers, artists, celebrities, and small business owners. Increased distribution in the News Feed should provide great incentive to Page owners to update their Pages regularly and drive more traffic to their Pages through ads.
While no specific timetable for these changes have been confirmed, Page admins should be aware of the upcoming changes and be prepared to both 1) get the most out of the updated Pages product, and 2) ensure that they do everything they need to do to migrate and optimize their current Pages. Key steps that current Page owners should take when the new Pages launch are:
- Ensuring that a profile picture for the Page is set.
- Configuring tab settings – both choosing the “landing tab” for non-Fans and choosing who can write on the Wall.
- Rearranging boxes on the Boxes tab, if necessary.
Ultimately, Facebook’s goal in making business Pages more powerful is to increase the ROI businesses get when promoting Pages through Facebook Ads. From what we can tell, these changes should do just that.
While “business pages” in other social networks often have a very spammy feel, the updated Pages design still preserves the authenticity of Fan endorsement. The new Facebook Pages have the potential to become much more lively and engaging touch points for reaching your customers in a very authentic, powerful, and extremely targeted way.
Facebook declined to comment further at this time.