Facebook announced major changes yesterday to the design and functionality of its Pages, bringing them closer to individual user profiles in look and functionality. I'm excited about these updates, as they will improve the ability of churches and ministries to connect and communicate with their audience and with other groups. These changes continue to make Facebook Pages an essential component for a ministry's online presence (see related post HERE) also go to www.Facebook.com/CMDAatlanta to see what the changes look like.
Here is an overview of these changes. Many of these changes impact the user experience visually, giving a more compelling look and feel to Pages; functionally, allowing the owners of the Pages to operate more the way individual users do.
The changes go into effect for all Facebook Pages on March 10, which gives you four weeks to preview the new format and switch over at any time before then. The above image is a map of the new features. The numbers are keyed to the summary below of the changes. (thank you Involver.com for this summary and graphic)
1-Photo strip above the Wall (with most recent photos you posted or tagged)
2-Tabs move over to the left panel, in the form of a list (maximum of 6 above the fold)
3-Profile picture reduced from 200 x 600 pixels to 180 x 540
4-Blurb box that was below the Page picture moved to info tab
5-Pages can Like other Pages, not just favorite them
6-Featured Pages and Admins
8-Choice for Wall posts between “Everyone” and Page posts only
9-Mutual Friends and Interests section
10-Ability to interact on Facebook as your Page
11-Ability for admins to post and comment around the site under their Page’s alias
12-News feed of updates from Liked Pages
13-Pages can now feature iFrame tab applications
14-Email notifications when users post or comment
Note, very important: You can preview the new layout but once you upgrade, there is no way to revert back to the old design.
Also a couple of additional notes:
Photo Strip Instead of Tabs Above the Wall
The replacement of tabs with the photo strip at the top adds a dynamic, colorful element that will significantly improve the look of the average Facebook Page. The photos are drawn from the most recent ones you posted to your Wall and those you tagged, but does not include photos posted by fans. Users can hide undesirable photos. The new left nav placement of tabs also allows for longer tab names.
Expanded Functionality For Fan Page Admins
By enabling Fan Page admins to comment in the name of the page itself and to interact with other Fan pages, Facebook has finally made it possible for brands to truly engage in tremendous interactive engine which powered its growth among individuals. Your power as a page administrator is increased in a number of other ways, including the ability to set filters on your Wall so that visitors see relevant posts first, and to view all the content and get notices whenever someone posts to your wall.