An Overview of Facebook’s Latest Updates

Fan Page

Here we go again! The latest release of changes for Facebook Fan Pages is here, and business owners are all in a tizzy about how Facebook has “ruined” their perfectly useful page. Granted, it is a tad annoying having to go in and change each profile every time Facebook decides to implement a new design phase, but to state that the company has ruined business profiles is a bit of an overstatement. In fact, I’d say it’s down right wrong! While the latest slew of changes have made quite a few hours of additional work for me, I have to say I’m totally on board and loving the updates. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s changed and how it will benefit your business.

1. Navigation Has Moved

Your Facebook Fan Page used to boast a tabbed design that allowed visitors to navigate through the various features of the page. This navigation is now located in a column beneath your Page profile picture, similar to the new personal profiles. This changes makes navigation easier and more intuitive, considering we’re already used to seeing it on personal profiles.

2. Photo Banner

Instead of hiding your photos in an album buried within your Page, Facebook now displays them for all to see in a banner across the top of your wall. Businesses can now use this to advertise new products, post staff pictures, or share photos from recent events and fundraisers.

3. Use Facebook as a Page

This is a great new feature which allows you to slip out of your personal profile, and become a representative of any Facebook Page that you act as an administrator on. This means that you can surf throughout Facebook as your company, posting messages on other Page walls, commenting on Page pictures, and liking the statuses of other organizations. You now also have the ability to comment as yourself, using your personal profile, on the Pages you administer, a function that was denied in the previous Fan Page layout.

4. Wall Filters

Pages now have two publicly visible wall filters, which include “Posts by Page” and “Everyone”. The default is set to “Everyone” and I recommend leaving it as that. This adds an extra level of transparency to your page by displaying customer comments and fan responses. Admins also have the ability to view additional filters including “Most Recent” and “Hidden Posts”.

5. Email Notifications

If you’re the administrator on multiple pages, this is one feature you’re going to want to find fast! When you upgrade to the new Page format, you’ll automatically be set to receive notifications to your email when people post or comment on the page. This is great feature as it will allow you to quickly respond to anything that’s posted on your company wall. If you’re like me, however, and administer multiple pages, you may want to cutback on how many Pages you’ve set to bombard your email with messages.

6. Mutual Connections

Whenever a person visits your Fan Page, they will now see a listing of friends who also like your page, as well as Pages that both they and your Page like (it’s a tad confusing, so just surf over to the CIK Marketing Facebook Page to see what I mean – the Mutual connections area is on the right side, just next to the comment box).

7. Setting Your Username is Easier

The backend dashboard of your Facebook Fan Page has been streamlined in the latest updated, giving you more control over your page’s basic information. Once you’ve click on the “Edit Page” button, select the “Basic Information” option from the left hand navigation list. This screen will allow you to change the category of your business and enable you to set the pretty URL of your Fan Page (once you’ve reached the mandatory 25 fan following).

8. iFrames

This change has business owners furious, but from a programmers stand point, it’s truly a blessing. As of March 11, 2011, Facebook will no longer allow Fan Pages to add FBML (the application that allowed users to custom code landing tabs and other features on Fan Pages) to their pages. But don’t get all in an uproar yet; those pages with FBML installed prior to March 11, 2011 will still be able to edit their code and the tabs will still be rendered. HOWEVER, Facebook is encouraging users to transition from FBML to the new iFrame setting as FBML will eventually be deprecated. So what is the new iFrame setting? Well, this allows you to custom code a fully functional webpage and simply frame it into your Fan Page – no more wonky FBML restrictions – just good old fashioned code. Ahhhh, finally!

What do you think about all of the new Facebook Fan Page changes? Good, bad, great? Let us know!

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