Facebook Testing New Layout for Brand Pages

How happy are you with your Facebook business Page? Pretty settled, pretty happy with how you’ve got it all formatted, with the background image cleverly integrating your profile image, etc.? Well (as per normal with Facebook) don’t get too comfortable, Marketing Land is reporting that Facebook is looking to update the format and look of Pages. And while the updates being trialed are small, individually, they could have a big impact on how your page looks and how you use the functions available within it.

Social media identity Mari Smith first noticed the changes a week back – Smith noted a series of tweaks and shared this screenshot of the Social Media Examiner Page.

Facebook Testing New Layout for Brand Pages | Social Media TodayIndividually minor, but collectively significant.

First off, the profile picture is much smaller and is contained within the background image, as opposed to being stuck over the two. This puts less emphasis on your profile image and more on the background, which will likely put more emphasis on creative and original background content, as opposed to duplicating your brand logo. This change seems more in-line with Facebook’s move towards more image-based content, and it looks good in this example, though it will largely depend on what your background image is – more than ever, you’ll need to create a compelling, high-quality cover.

It also means if you have a cover image and profile photo that currently connect to each other, you’ll probably need to update – as per this example from Coca-Cola (the straw’s supposed to go into the Coke).

Before:

Facebook Testing New Layout for Brand Pages | Social Media TodayAfter:

Facebook Testing New Layout for Brand Pages | Social Media TodayPage tabs are all aligned to the left, directly beneath the main image. This looks good, looks much cleaner and more functional. This is only a little shift, and is made necessary, somewhat, by the moving of the profile image into the cover photo, but it looks more modern and new, and gives those buttons more focus. You can also see the ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ buttons are also on that new action bar, putting all your interactive options onto one, solid stream.

In line with the smaller profile image, the page title and category are also smaller, which, again, puts more emphasis on that cover image. If you’d never really thought too much about your background photo, now’s the time to start thinking creatively and considering what you can do to stand out – this change puts a big emphasis on that element.  

Interestingly, the CTA button is appearing in different forms for different users at present, and may be part of a Facebook test to see which generates the best response. In Mari Smith’s example above, the CTA button is now integrated into the cover image, which looks good and gives it a level of emphasis against the background. But others have reported seeing the CTA on the left-hand side of the page, beneath the profile image and page tabs.

Facebook Testing New Layout for Brand Pages | Social Media TodayReports from various users have given different accounts of where the CTA button is appearing – when I look at Mari Smith’s page on my PC, I’m not even seeing the new Page layout at all, so it’s likely only available to certain users at this point. That variance may also make it difficult to know when to update too, particularly if you want to have your background and profile images integrated – if the majority of users aren’t yet seeing the new profiles, probably not the right time to upgrade as yet.

The CTA button is also showing up differently on mobile, with a big, blue button the width of the screen directly below the background image – though this change is part of a larger update of Facebook Pages for mobile, which will also incorporate new sections.

Facebook Testing New Layout for Brand Pages | Social Media TodayFacebook’s clearly putting an emphasis on that CTA option, and it’s one all brands should be considering using either way. If you’ve not activated a CTA on your page yet, it may be time to flick the switch.

There's a range of examples of how other pages look in the comments on Smith’s original post, highlighting the new profile layout, including Mashable:

Facebook Testing New Layout for Brand Pages | Social Media TodayOverall, the new layout looks impressive - so long as your background image looks impressive. The change puts an increased emphasis on visuals and on getting your Facebook image presentation right.

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