Facebook Tests New Page Admin Interface with Sidebar Navigation Links

Facebook is testing a cleaner new administrative interface for Pages which organizes options into left hand sidebar navigation links. It allows administrators to edit Basic Information such as Company Overview from the admin interface, use a typeahead instead of a multi-friend selector for managing admin permissions, and lets Pages with few Likes change their names.

Facebook launched a new Page Insights interface at f8 this year, but this test is the first major admin interface redesign in a long time.

Those to whom the new admin interface has been rolled out can access it by clicking “Edit Page” on a Page they admin, or via the Ads and Pages home page navigation link. Instead of a long list of settings and applications options, user see navigation links in the Page editor’s left sidebar allowing them to Manage Permissions, edit Basic Information, select Applications, conduct Marketing and more.

Previously, admins had to go their Page and click “Change Picture” or select the Info tab and click “Edit Information” to change the Page’s profile picture, website and other category specific details. Now these fields can be edited through the Basic Information and Profile Picture links. The “About This Page” field cannot be edited from the admin interface, though.

Admins of some Pages will also see the option to alter the Page’s name, which Facebook previously did not allow. It’s unclear what determines which Pages can have their names changed, but the name field does appear for Pages with few Likes. The option would allow businesses or brands which have changed their name in real life, want to refocus their Page, or who made a spelling or grammar mistake when first creating their Page can change the Page’s name without having to delete it and start a new one. However, the option could create the potential for abuse, as those who Like a Page aren’t notified of name changes, potentially causing them to unknowingly display a Page in their profile with a different name than the one they Liked.

The Marketing navigation link collects options to advertise a Page, create an embeddable badge, or send an update which were scattered around the right sidebar of the old Page admin interface. While there is no longer a big green “Promote Your Page” button, the text link to advertise is more prominently placed in the center of the screen when viewing Marketing options.

With the Manage Admins link, Facebook has replaced the pop-up multi-friend selector for appointing new admins with a typeahead that accepts names and email addresses. The Applications link includes an “Applications You Might Like” section from which users can instantly add or edit new Page tab applications without first visiting the app. The increased prominence and efficiency of this section more effectively encourages installation of new tab apps than the “More Applications” section at the very bottom of the old admin interface.

Links for Mobile, Insights, and Page Help simply creates separate pages for the same options available in the old interface. Facebook has removed the “News for Page Admins” feed which displayed recent notes published by the Facebook Pages official Page.

This new admin interface looks similar to the Group editor, and signals a shift in Facebook design which favors categorized sidebar navigation links pointing to a limited set of options over a single long list of diverse options. Meanwhile, even if only available for small Page, the ability to change a names is a significant functionality addition that could aid many frustrated admins. However, it could be used to dupe users into Liking objectionable content.

Update: We’ve learned that the threshold at which a Page can’t have its name changed is 100 Likes. Pages with less than 100 Likes who have an admin with access to the new Page admin interface will see the option to change the Page’s name in the Basic Information panel.

[Thanks to Dan Birdwhistell for the tip]