Facebook upgrades Pages; the fallout!

Late last week Facebook launched quite a significant redesign, which changes not just the look and layout of Facebook Pages, but also adds a long list of exciting new functionality (plus a few things that have some people worried). Remember the changes to your personal profile that rolled out last December? Facebook Pages now match that layout, but there’s way more to be aware of as well!

Please note 1 critical issue for Page admins has surfaced as part of the ‘Upgrade‘ and has yet to be addressed as of this date by Facebook – is that wall posts are not being shown chronologically and the complete inability to view posts in chronological order! Hopefully this issue will be addressed before the ‘Upgrade‘ deadline, March 10th, 2011 passes and every Page owner has the ‘Upgrade‘ forced upon them!

A workaround to “hide” the above issue is to ‘Edit‘ your Page, then select ‘Manage Permissions‘ and set the ‘Wall Tab Shows‘ option to ‘Only Posts by Page‘. The default of ‘Everyone‘, sets off a Facebook algorithm which determines which are the most relevant posts to show first and due to this algorithm getting things wrong, you start to see entries placed out of order. Of course, people can still click on the ‘Everyone‘ link on your Page wall and are able to see the misplaced posts, but by selecting ‘Only Posts by Page‘, the very first view they see when visiting your Page, are only your posts and any associated comments. Hopefully Facebook will get this corrected asap!

So, let’s take a look at all the changes and what it means for you if you run a Facebook Page for yourself or a business.

Firstly, you should see the preview box at the top of your Page if you log in right now. It looks like this:

You don’t have to upgrade right now, however if you click ‘preview‘ you can take the quick tour of the changes now and you can always go back to the previous version if you want after the tour.

As mentioned earlier, the upgrade is voluntary until March 10th, 2011, when Facebook will automatically ‘Upgrade‘ every Page.

Where have the tabs gone?

Just like on your personal profile, the Page tabs are now down the left hand side instead of across the top. Yes, we know, there is a fair bit of grumbling about this appearing already, especially on other social media sites, such as Twitter etc; with companies complaining they’ll get reduced visits to the various Pages other than their wall due to the side nav instead of top nav. There is one plus that longer Page names for custom tabs are now possible.

If you have more than 6 tabs only the first 6 will be listed in the sidebar. Pictured left is how your tab navigation now looks underneath your profile image.

Hello Photostrip

Again, the same as your personal profile, you’ll now have a photostrip across the top of your Page featuring selected photos from your albums.

If you don’t want to show a particular photo in the photostrip just hover over it and and an ‘x‘ will appear. By clicking the ‘x‘ you aren’t deleting the photo, you’re just removing it from the photostrip in place of another photo.

Goodbye about box

Poof! There goes that text box that was under your profile image in the left sidebar. It’s now moved to the info tab.

Tab applications

If you have a custom tab or tab application on your Page you don’t need to panic, the upgrade won’t make it break, but there’s been talk for some time that Facebook’s moving to iFrame tab applications which you can now do (this is a feature to know for the coders out there). As a nice bonus, developers can now use longer app titles with the move from top navigation to left sidebar navigation.

Email notifications

You can turn on email notifications so you’re alerted when there’s new activity on your Page (this is in the ‘your settings‘ tab in the ‘edit Page‘ section).

Obviously those of you with a lot happening on your Page should be prepared to be swamped with emails, hence Facebook thankfully making this an option you can turn on and off, but this is a great new feature for those with less active Pages so you can quickly respond to questions, comments and content placed by others on your Page.

Filtered wall posts

In the same way your personal news feed works, the wall can be set by Page admins to show ‘everyone‘ or ‘Page posts only‘ as the default view for the wall. It used to show a stream of posts with the most recent at the top. If you set this to ‘everyone‘ then Facebook will decide what will show based on what it thinks is most relevant. As you’d expect, popularity counts, so posts with a lot of comments or ‘Likes‘ will be given ranking preference.

‘Be’ your Page on Facebook

Previously you could not act as your Page outside your Page on Facebook, only as yourself (using your personal profile). You now have the option of your Page liking other Pages, as well as posting and commenting around ‘Facebook as your Page‘.

To use this, click the ‘account‘ drop down in the top navigation in the blue bar and select ‘use Facebook as Page‘ (shown left).

While in that mode, your news feed will show updates from other Pages you like. Your notifications will show what your members are posting and commenting on your Page and your friend requests will show ‘Likes‘ on your Page since the last time you used the ‘Facebook as your Page‘ mode.

Smaller profile picture

The profile picture is slightly smaller (down to 180 x 540).

Admins at a glance

The right sidebar now shows you who you have set to admin.

Your friends who like your Page

Also in the right sidebar are mutual friends, which shows you which of your personal profile connections also like your business Page. Your Page members will see this too, but of course they’ll see a list of their friends who also like your Page.

‘Featured’ now in settings

If you click ‘edit Page‘ (at the top of the right sidebar in the upgrade), you’ll find a new ‘featured‘ setting as one of the options on the left hand side.

Here is where you can reorder what’s featured. You can also choose to activate the ‘Feature Page owners‘ box in the right sidebar and select which people to feature.

If you’re contemplating whether you should have a Facebook Page or Facebook Group, this upgrade gives yet more reasons why a Page is the right choice for most organizations.