Facebook Increases Number of Visible Tab Apps on Pages, Changes Tab Reordering

Facebook has increased the number of tab applications that are visible above the fold in the navigation menu of Facebook Pages. It also now only allows Pages with more tabs installed than fit above the fold to reorder their tabs.

The changes will allow Pages to expose users to more tabs for promotions, email signups, games, and other functions. However, it will also require some Pages to add multiple apps it doesn’t need to be able to reorder the tabs it wants, increasing friction in the Page management process.

Facebook began the rollout of a major redesign of Pages in mid-February. This moved tab applications from a horizontal bar above the Page’s wall to a vertically stacked navigation menu beneath the profile picture.

The redesign made tab applications slightly less prominent, but provided more space for longer titles and potentially more tabs above the fold. Facebook only allowed six tabs above the fold, though — the same number as before.

Now Pages can take advantage of the additional vertical space, as there are now nine spots available above the fold. Pages can display up to nine tab apps. If they have more than nine installed, the first eight will be visible to users, along with a “More” button that reveals the rest of the installed apps.

To reorder tabs, Page admins can visit their Page and click the “More” button, then the “Edit” button, and can then drag and drop the tabs. This allows them to place the tab apps they want to receive the most traffic at the top of stack beneath the wall and info tabs that can’t be reordered. Tabs can be removed from this same “Edit” option, or through the full “Edit Page” admin interface.

However, if Pages don’t have more tabs than fit above the fold, their admins won’t have a “More” button and therefore can’t reorder their tabs. In order to gain this functionality, they must add enough tabs that they get a “More” button, reorder their tabs, and then remove the unwanted tabs.

The Facebook Page design and admin interface is rapidly evolving, so this friction in the reordering process may be removed soon. For now, Page admins should take advantage of the increased number of visible tab spaces by adding more apps, reorder their tabs to show the most important ones first, and then remove any unnecessary tabs.

Update April 13, 2011: Currently, Pages cannot reorder their tabs. The Edit button is still available, but drag-and-dropping does not successfully reorder the tabs. We’ll continue to update regarding the availability of tab reordering.

Update April 14th, 2011: The issue appears to have been fixed and Pages can once again reorder their tab applications.

To learn more about Facebook Page management best practices and access our walk-through and strategies for redesigned Pages, visit the Facebook Marketing Bible, Inside Network’s comprehensive guide to brand marketing on Facebook.