Major changes to Facebook Pages
So, as many of you will know, Facebook announced yesterday, major changes to the way that Pages look and behave. Whilst some of the changes are largely cosmetic, there is a more important implication for apps.
Below is a summary of the main points you need to take note of:
1. Cover Photo
As you will have seen from your personal timeline, your profile picture now has a large, landscape image. This will need to be 851 x 315 pixels wide, as below. The most important aspect of this is that Facebook are now making it explicitly clear that you will NOT be allowed to use this cover to sell, or direct people to take actions (i.e. an arrow pointing to the “Like” button)
2. Profile picture
The profile picture remains largely unchanged, although you will need to re-size this to the new size of 180 x 180 pixels.
3. About Section and Apps – REALLY IMPORTANT
There are some largely cosmetic changes to the “About” this page text which is so often ignored or unread in the previous Page format. The new About text block takes much more prominence on the new Page layout, so make sure your first 2 lines are as exciting and compelling as they can be.
Sitting next to this section is the list of Apps assigned to the Page. All apps are now listed in the header with 111 x 74 images rather than the small icons you will be used to. The order of apps in the grid can be moved around so that your current most popular app is seen more prominently:
IMPORTANT: The real technical change to Pages affects something which we have all become accustomed to – landing pages. Facebook has now removed the ability to set a default landing tab, meaning that Like Gates are a thing of the past. This is why it will be so crucial to ensure that your app makes the very most of the new icon size it has.
4. Pinned posts
Pinned posts are posts which the administrators have decided should feature more prominently than anything else, as below (the small yellow flag):
The small yellow flag is an indicator that this is the post that the administrator wants to bring your focus to. So, however much content is created by either the Page or Fans, this post will remain at the top of the Page. You may know this in another form as a “sticky” post. In doing so, Facebook believes that this will bring the old “default landing tab” approach to a wider range of content.
5. Larger stories
New Pages are a much more visual affair, with much more prominence given to video and images. This has been evident in Edgerank i.e. how much of your content is visible within fans’ news streams – with much more weighting (visibility) given to images and videos.
6. Better Admin tools
If you’re not using SMMP (Social Media Management Platforms) such as Buddy Media or Syncapse, you’ll be pleased at how much more sophisticated the new Admin dashboard and tools are.
As you can see from the drop-down menu, you have a much more organised and centralised way of managing your page, even to the point of being able to list and adjust the visibility of items you have posted:
Change is Good:
There is most certainly a more creative angle to new Pages layout, which from our experience we think most admins will find much easier to use. There’s no getting away from the fact that it will take most admins a little while to adjust to the layout so DO spend time looking around the Preview version of your page to play with all of the features. You can’t break the Page until you press PUBLISH!
Beware Engagement Levels:
When you change your Page, different assets will feature to a greater or lesser extent that they do now. Take a BENCHMARK of your content performance before you change over and track for a good week or 2, how that content performs, as well as against all new content that gets posted.
You can no longer determine which App receives prominence, thereby locking non-fans out until they like the Page. Apps now have to fight for attention like all other content. The “pinning” of content to be made sticky will help bring some focus to apps/content but any apps in planning for go-live of post 30th March may need a rethink.
Remember, you can change over at ANY TIME, but the changes will be enforced by 30th MARCH 2012.
Official documentation is here:
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