Friday, June 6, 2014

Bright Shiny! [Facebook's New Company Pages]

The NEW Facebook pages layout rolled out today, June 6, 2014. By June 20 [per Facebook's claim], if you haven't chosen to adapt the new format, Facebook will automatically update it for you. 

For those that have spent a few years in social media, you get used to the ever changing layouts Facebook and others decide to impose upon us. But it still takes time to learn where all of your tools that you used to use now live within the page.

Here are the biggest changes I see today:

  1. A single column look. Personal profiles went the way of a single column look months ago. Facebook today is rolling this out to pages. All posts will now be in a single, right-hand column [when visiting a page on a computer screen], while likes, apps, photos, etc. will be on the left.
  2. Apps have become subtle. There had been rumors that apps were completely going away. This is not the case, but now at the top of your page [under the cover photo], only one app name will show. There is a drop-down "More" menu that shows the others, but the emphasis on apps has definitely gone down. The App icons will now show in the left column below the fold [meaning, you must scroll to see them]. For pages that emphasize apps, this could hurt some business, but at least they have not completely gone away. Also, if you click on the More > Manage Tabs drop down, you can drag and drop to edit the order of your apps easily. "About" and "Photos" must stay on the top, but you get to choose which app you would like to highlight on the top of your page, and what order they appear in the left column.
  3. Left Column Priorities. Like deciding which apps should take priority, you can now edit the order of the left column information blocks. People will always stay first, and the About section second, but then you can reorder the rest of the blocks based upon what information you want to emphasize with your audiences. Simply click the pencil near the top of the People section, and highlight "Manage Sections".
  4. Website URL is highlighted. Now, in the About section, your company's website URL will always show, and is even highlighted a bit with some white space. What is even better news is this is a clickable link automatically.
  5. Posts to Page take a back seat. Posts to Page now are showing up well below the fold on the left column. Although this is slightly better than the previous version of pages to show what others are posting on your company page, I think the new design does a disservice to businesses. For businesses that do reciprocal B2B postings [tagging other companies in your posts, other companies tagging you in their posts], these will no longer show up in your right column feed for your viewers. They are only showing up in the well-below-the-fold left column "Posts to Page", and are not showing images until you click the pop-up window to see all Posts to Page.
  6. "This Week" Stats Counter. There is a new "This Week" statistics snapshot now to the right of your page for administrators. It's a great way to quickly see how many new likes, post reach and notifications you have for the past week.
  7. Better Settings Menu. The noise and lack of organization of old admin view sometimes made it tough to figure out where to go to manage various aspects of a page. The new settings menu breaks things down cleanly with Page, Activity, Insights and Settings. Activity allows you to see notifications and direct messages from one menu. The Insights sub-menu hasn't changed much. Settings, now allows you to see all of your settings, activity log, apps, suggested edits and users from one menu.
  8. User Audiences Expanded? The Banned User section in Settings should really be called "Users", not just "Banned Users". Within the Banned Users sub-menu of Settings, there is now a drop down with People Who Like This, Pages that Like This, Subscribers, Admins, Banned, Valuable and Irrelevant. People/Pages allow you to see your audiences. Admins and Banned are fairly self-explanatory. Subscribers, Valuable and Irrelevant are new. There is no word yet on what these are or how they will be used, but I image they will allow pages to label audiences who are most influential and irrelevant to help with Ads and Promoted Posts. We are all waiting to see though.
These are the most drastic changes I have seen so far in the new Facebook pages layout. Have you seen or heard more about the updates? Please share in the comments!

Top Image Credit: mkhmarketing on flickr
Screen shots provided by Lindsey Garrett.

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