Facebook recently announced that it would be making updates to profiles and pages and that these changes would take effect on Monday, August 23. According to Facebook, these updates are designed to "simplify navigation for users, reduce complexity for developers and enable [Facebook] to build the next generation of tools for growing your business with Facebook."
While I personally think they could've been a little clearer about what these changes would do to pages, yesterday they enabled admins to see, in advance, how their pages will be altered.
Facebook's Changes Will Affect Your Pages in 3 Ways:
- Any "boxes" that exist in the sidebar of a page will be removed.
- The Boxes Tab and all of its contents will be eliminated.
- When you click on a tab, the page itself will become narrower (520 pixels in width).
How Marketers Should Prepare:
In the next week and a half before changes take place, I encourage marketers to take the time to make an audit of their business' Facebook page and look for the following:
1. Altered Images/Formats: If you've created any custom tabs for your Facebook page, click on these tabs to make sure the look and feel of each page hasn't been fudged. Because pages will now be narrower, there's a possibility that images/banners you've added or formats you've implemented previously will now need to be resized or reformatted. Take a look at this example from the "Like HubSpot?" tab on HubSpot's fan page , for example:
2. Boxes/Boxes Tab: Currently, the preview enabled for page admins still includes the Boxes Tab, and the boxes on a page's sidebar still exist as well. I assume the purpose of this is to give admins the opportunity to take note of what will be disappearing before it actually does. If you'd like to make sure the content in these boxes still has a home on your Facebook page after the changes take place, you'll need to create new, custom Facebook tabs for this content. Therefore, marketers should take a look at the boxes on their page and in their Boxes Tab ahead of time and make decisions on what they will want to create custom tabs for when boxes are eliminated.
Yes -- I'll admit that having to make these changes is a pain. But look on the bright side: while this may be yet another thing to add to your marketing to-do list, it will give you a chance to clean up your Facebook presence and make your page even more user-friendly. The audit of your page might even reveal some outdated or unnecessary boxes, and I'm sure your fans will appreciate your more streamlined page once the changes take effect.