Facebook has launched a re-design of the Fan Page. If your Page hasn’t already been converted to the new design, it will be automatically upgraded on March 10, or you can convert it manually by clicking the “upgrade this page” button at the top of your Page. Before you make the move, click the “preview” button and then click the “take a tour” button for a quick overview of the new design.
The first thing you will notice about the new layout is that it looks quite similar to the new personal profile layout, including the strip of photos across the top. Here is a look at some of the most significant changes:
Useful Links in the Right Column
Your Page now has the ability to network on Facebook. So, instead of you commenting on someone’s post or participating in a group using your personal profile persona, you can switch to Page mode to interact with others on Facebook. This is very useful if you’re trying to promote your page and de-emphasize your personal profile. Here’s how: From the right column of your Page, click on the “Use Facebook as YOUR PAGE NAME” link. You can click a link in that same spot to switch back to your personal profile persona.
It’s easy to check the statistics for your Page by clicking on the “View Insights” link in the right column. There’s also a handy link for suggesting the Page to friends or building an ad.
Note that the Edit Page button has moved to the upper right corner of the screen.
New Placement of Tabs
As you can see in the screenshot below, the navigation “tabs” that used to be across the top of the Page have been moved to the left column.
Each tab links to a separate screen on your Fan Page. This new layout is probably good news if want to have a lot of tabs, because it looks like there will be space to show more tabs. But, I don’t think these tabs are as visible on the left side as they were across the top of the page in the old layout. On the other hand, once Facebook users get used to the new layout, it may not matter much.
Remember that on the Manage Permissions screen (accessible when you are in Edit mode), you can specify which tab you want new visitors to land on. On my Page, new visitors land on the Welcome tab shown above.
Facebook has switched to iframes as the coding standard for creating customized content on Fan Pages. The good news is that you can do all sorts of cool things with iframes, like presenting different content to fans and non-fans who visit your page. See this post for some interesting possibilities.
Folks without programming experience probably won’t be able to create custom content with iframes. I have an understanding of basic HTML, but what I have seen of iframes is over my head. Authors and other entrepreneurs will need to hire someone to help create custom content for their Fan Page or use third-party applications.
The old FBML tool will be phased out beginning on March 11, 2011. Here is a direct quote from the Facebook developer’s blog:
“On March 11, 2011, you will no longer be able to create new FBML apps and Pages will no longer be able to add the Static FBML app. While all existing apps on Pages using FBML or the Static FBML app will continue to work, we strongly recommend that these apps transition to iframes as soon as possible.”
UPDATE: Facebook has extended the Static FBML deadline to March 18.
The good news here is that if you have installed the Static FBML app on your Page before March 18, you can continue to use it (until Facebook decides that you can’t, of course). See the tutorial about halfway down this page to learn how to create custom content using Static FBML.
Facebook has updated the Fan Page Manual. Click the “download” button at the top of this page to download a copy.
I am updating my Facebook Guide for Authors to reflect the changes to the Personal Profiles and Fan Pages. I’ll do a post here when the new edition is available. In the meantime, if you purchase the current edition, you’ll automatically receive a copy of the update when it’s published.
To get book marketing tips on Facebook, I invite you to “like” The Savvy Book Marketer Fan Page.
See these articles to learn about the impact of the new design on the Personal Profile:
Make the Most of the New Facebook Profile
How to Use the Info Tab on the New Facebook Profile