Become the Page
Facebook recently released new design and feature changes for Pages. If you already have Business Page(s) on Facebook then this may impact you. This will certainly impact those of you considering developing a Business Page. For the past month, Business Page owners have had the ability to login as their Page. So this means you will be able to Like and make comments as the Page throughout Facebook. Page administrators will be able to switch back and forth between their identity as the Page or with their own personal profile. Facebook has indicated that this should make for better overall communications. Assuming you have already setup your new Page on Facebook, you can access this new feature under the Account drop-down box. Choose “Use Facebook as Page” and then select the Page for which you have administration rights by clicking the “Switch” button. You easily switch back under Account settings as well.
Businesses will be able to display featured images at the top of their Page in the center column. You will also notice graphic images of the Pages you like displayed down the left column along with images of you Page administrators on the right column. The images of people or other Pages that Like your Page are also displayed on the right column. Speaking of columns, the new format now emphasizes columns along with vertical menus that have replaced the horizontal tab menus.
Facebook has added a new feature for sorting your Page’s Wall information. There are two options: 1) Top Posts; and 2) Most Recent. Facebook attempts to put the most popular posts at the top when “Top Posts” is selected. “Most Recent”, as expected, just puts the posts in chronological order.
Preview Time is Running Out
If you have not made any changes to your Facebook Page then it should still be displayed with the old format. You can preview the new format when you go to your Page by clicking a Preview button. You also have the option of upgrading. Upgrading will no longer be an option on March 10, 2011. At that time all Pages will automatically be upgraded.
I would strongly suggest previewing your Page and then making updates as desired. For instance, you will probably want to take advantage of the images displayed over the center column. You will just need to create one or more photo albums and experiment with what looks good.
Facebook Markup Language (FBML) allows Page administrators to create custom Page tabs. According to Simon Cross, Facebook’s Platform Partner Engineer in Europe, FBML will be replaced by iframes on a Canvas tab. He indicates that Page owners/administrators will be given about a month to make the transition from FBML to iframes sometime in Q1 2011. Existing FBML pages will still work but you won’t be able to create anything new without using iframes. Business owners will need to talk with their Web/Facebook developer to see what impact this may have on any future changes you had in mind for your Page on Facebook.
Shameless plug… If you don’t yet have a Facebook Page for your business then please give me a call. If you are curious as to what a Facebook Business Page looks like then please check out our page here: http://www.facebook.com/webstreetusa