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A Closer Look at Facebook Pages Changes

Facebook Pages Changes In Preview Now, Mandatory Later

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[ Social Media]

Maybe you remember a couple of months ago when Facebook accidentally rolled out some changes to fan pages, giving all of us a sneak peek of what was to come. Well, now those changes are actually here.

Throughout the day, I manage and monitor multiple fan pages. I just received a notification at the top of the screen to "preview" or "upgrade" to the new style of fan pages. Upon clicking "preview," I was given a very useful tour of the changes that Facebook accidentally shocked us with two months ago.

And now I will give you that same tour with some explanations and  interjections along the way.

1. Facebook Photos Change

Fan pages will now feature the most recent pictures in a bar across the top of the page just like new individual profiles. This bar will feature the photos added to the wall by the admin or any photo that tags the fan page.

The fan pages that we monitor often receive irrelevant or spam-like photos in the "Fan Photos" section of our page. The good news is that these pictures will not be featured in the bar at the top of the page. Also, as it stands now, individuals cannot tag a fan page in a photo, which prevents spammers from simply tagging multiple fan pages in a picture and as a result, receiving the most prominent space on those pages. I’m glad that Facebook anticipated these issues and prevented this new feature from becoming a spam fest that all admins would have to monitor carefully.

2. Facebook Navigation Change

A big change to the overall format of the fan page is the location of tabs, which are often where we and other marketers host campaigns and special features of the page. Instead of being located at the top bar of the page, these tabs are now available below the profile picture of the page. These tabs now feature an accompanying icon; it will be interesting to see if these icons will be customizable in the future.

Developers are thrilled with the updated model for building apps on Pages announced today, which brought the introduction of iFrames to pages. According to Facebook, "this means you can now build apps that run across Facebook (including Pages and Canvas applications) using the same simple, standards-based web programming model (HTML, JavaScript, and CSS). In addition, you can easily integrate social plugins and the Graph API within your tab." Basically, developers now have much more freedom in tab creation and greater potential for interaction among fans.

One negative of this new tab location is a less prime real estate position on the page. It will be interesting to compare traffic to these tabs before and after this switch. Also, just as with individual profiles, there is no longer an "info box" displayed below the profile picture.

3. Facebook Wall Filters Change

This new feature is one that I have a problem with as the moderator of a page. Now, instead of posts appearing on the page in chronological order, it seems as if "top posts" and "the most interesting stories" will appear first. These top posts are determined by the number of interactions, which translates to likes and comments. This could make monitoring comments a nightmare because the spam could be hiding at the bottom of the page or it could be displayed prominently if it happens to attract comments and likes from fans. Moderators will have to regularly check deep into the page to ensure that spam or profanities aren’t lurking on the page somewhere instead of simply checking the most recent comments at regular intervals.

Fortunately, admins can still choose a default landing of either "Everyone" or just posts from the admin. By selecting a default landing of admin posts only, moderators can help eliminate the potential prominence of spam.

Luckily, Facebook also has a new feature, a moderation blocklist, in the works to block spam and profanities. Using this blocklist, admins can choose strong filters, medium filters, or none at all. Admins are not allowed to see the words or types of spam associated with each filter. However, admins can tailor the filters by "unmarking" spam that automatically goes into the Spam filter. This Spam filter was instituted in October 2010; it currently catches recognizable spam and places it into a filter only available for admins to view.

4. Facebook Admin View Change

This is the most interesting change for me. Before the switch, an admin could interact as the brand page ONLY on the page itself through comments and wall posts. Now it appears as though admins can log into Facebook as the fan page, which now opens up the possibility for the brand page to interact in the following ways:

  • Get notifications when fans interact with your page or posts
  • See activity from the pages you like in your news feed
  • Like other pages and feature them on your page
  • Make comments as your page on other pages

Basically, these changes give the branded page a bigger voice on Facebook by allowing them to interact with other pages through likes and comments. The first bullet point above is an interesting one, though. For pages with a lower number of fans, these notifications will be helpful so that admins can receive a quick reminder and remain active on the page without having to check for comments and interactions throughout the day. However, for pages with a large fan base, these notifications would come in overwhelming numbers, making this "helpful reminder" into an overload of notifications. Can you imagine getting about 500 notifications within 10 minutes of posting a comment?

5. Facebook Settings Change

This change is not too exciting – just a new location for managing admin controls and certain features of the fan page.

Facebook is now allowing admins to preview this feature for the next 4 weeks, but these changes will become mandatory on all pages starting March 10, 2011. Admins should note that after opting to the new version, they will not be able to revert back to the previous version.

Originally published on IgniteSocialMedia.com

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  • http://www.replica-sunglasses.co.uk/ Lisa

    Theses all changes are better for facebook. Also if they could really work on searching friends it would be better.

  • http://www.googledigook.com buenosam

    It’s now very, very easy to accidentally post a personal update while logged in as your brand – facebook-changes-are-great-news-if-youre-looking-for-a-job-in-social-media/”>more details here.

    • http://www.theanaloguerevolution.com Pete

      I manage my employer’s FB page along with two of my own. Switching between them is easy but not very clear which one you are on. I wonder if I log in at work, switch to my work page identity, make some posts etc then go home, when I log in will I be under my personal or work profile, if it keeps you logged in as the last oen you used it won’t be long before I post soemthign I regret, cheers Facebook, another well thoughtout idea.

  • matt headley

    until pages can post comments on their likers’ news feed, I won’t be happy.

  • Ed Smith – USA

    Only two days and thousands of FB Pages admins are already in an uproar …. and I’m one of them.

    My posts are no longer in chronological order which means there are now outdated posts that appear near the top of the page. Also, we do a series of storytelling photo shows that “must” be in chronological order to tell the story. Now they are out of order. Imagine reading a book with the chapters in random order.

    Also, because of the random order, I have to spend way too much time searching for previous posts and comments … even to the point of giving up in frustration.

    As to “the most interesting stories will appear first.” How would FB know what’s interesting or not to the people who visit my page??? An outdated event post is now “interesting”??? It is totally impossible for FB staff to review millions of posts every day, determine what is interesting, and then re-arrange the order of posts accordingly. This is obviously being done digitally. What a mess!

    What totally amazes me is how FB could get this so wrong. Duuuuh!!

    Hopefully the uproar over this will convince FB to nix this change and go back to the previous chronological ordering of posts. If not then Pages no longer works for me and I will be forced to find an alternative.

    • http://www.viewfromthecloud.com Jeff

      See my comment above yours. So where do we file our complaints?

  • http://www.viewfromthecloud.com Jeff

    I have a real problem with the way they resorted the wall comments for my fan page. I have been using mine to reunite people from 30 years ago and have been building a dialog based on one person leaving information for another, so it’s very important that the comments remain on the wall in chronological order. If you determine any way to put it back please let me know. Thanks for the article.

  • http://www.sjdiscountcosmeticstore.co.uk Steve

    The new fan page is great for buisness as we can now add posts while networking with our buisness name and picture rather than my personal profile that doesnt show any connection to our buisness

  • http://www.frugalcool.co.uk Guest

    Don’t know what’s happening. I can’t post links or photos on my business pages, they load but Share button does nothing.
    I can’t switch back to being me, I get a blank page. I have to log out then back in again to get to my personal page.

  • Dianne Engelsman Tuttle

    I heard on the news today that not all of my friends post will show up on my wall, how do I change that back, I want all my friends post to show up on my wall. I also do not like the new display of photos, its on a black background and its a smaller photo, I want the other version back please.
    Thank you, Dianne

  • Ed

    I am a page admin and my page grew to over 20,000 likes. I received a message claiming that my posting rights have been denied. How can i get them back so as to be able to post on the page wall?