Facebook loves playing around with the hopes and dreams of us poor social marketers. A few are still overcoming the shock of the massive decrease in organic reach, and today Facebook announced a more "streamlined" look for Facebook pages. Since I know you're dying to take a look at what this looks like, we'll start with an image.
First impressions: it looks nice. Not something that should massively change our lives. A lot of Facebook page administrators are looking forward to a streamlined view of posts because it allows fans to see an accurate "timeline" of posts - without the grid layout messing it up.
The major changs outlined by Facebook in this new streamlined design are the following:
The left-side column of your timeline features information about your business, including a map, your hours of business, phone number and website URL, as well as photos and videos.
I can live with that. There's a dedicated place for people to easily get information rather than it all be crowded out in the "About" description as it currently stands on Facebook pages.
No matter where you are on your Page, you can now view information about the ads you’re running and new likes on your Page, as well unread notifications and messages. You can click on any section in the This Week section for more detail.
We’ve also added new navigation options to the top of the Page, making it easier to access your activity, insights and settings. The Build Audience menu at the top of the Page offers direct access to your Ads Manager account.
Well, that's nice of Facebook. If it wasn't clear earlier, ads take up front and center in your view - and before you even take a look at your total likes, page post reach or notifications - you're given information about your ads. The struggle is real, people - forget about organic reach. Sorry, just had to bring that up.
Again - this doesn't change my life a lot. It's something only admins will be seeing, not like our fans will be exposed to this information. I didn't mind this information being in the Insights tab just a click away. Having it up front and center makes it more convenient, but does nothing to excite me.
Another interesting feature announced by Facebook in the same post was the "Pages to Watch". You can keep track of the level of engagement and community growth of the pages you're "watching".
The biggest question that's being asked in Facebook's comment section though, is, "What happens to all our custom tabs?"
Good question. The graphic that Facebook shared with us has no mention of the custom tabs that brands and companies love to have on their pages, so where did they go? Facebook tabs have become somewhat a permanent fixture on many pages. For example, Circus Social
has a couple of custom tabs on their Facebook page that do what a lot of other brands get involved in.
A feedback form in a tab, a tab that allows you to sign up for a newsletter, unlock offers - and of course, the always popular - tab for a Photo Contest or Giveaway.
So where'd they go? Some feel that they're probably in the "More" section in the drop-down, and since pages drive a lot of traffic to those tabs using posts on their page, there's no need to have them front and center. However - to a layman Facebook user, will he actually bother to go and click on the dropdown to pull more options? Not likely.
We'll have to see how this develops. Since there isn't a Facebook page currently live with these features, we can't really take a look and see how it works.
All in all, if this change in layout had to be summarized, two major things have popped up. The first - is that from a grid layout, Facebook is changing into a streamlined single column layout - with business information being highlighted on the left column.
The second, is that no one knows what's going to happen to custom tabs - we'll have to wait and see.
Quick update! You can view the newly laid out Facebook brand pages in this link
. The questions about where the custom tabs will be placed have been answered, with the apps now showing up in the left hand column right below the information about your page. Take a look at this screenshot:
So now that we've got an overall picture of the change, as well as where the custom tabs will show up and what the re-designed page will look like - I for one, am extremely pleased and satisfied with this change! Looking forward to this rolling out on all pages!