Yesterday I shared the announcement regarding Facebook Page Updates. In it I outlined a number of new features that would help Page admins interact with their fans and other Pages directly without using the persona of the admin. While these changes were welcomed by page admins with open arms, the biggest change could be more crippling than helpful.
The Removal of Facebook Tabs
For internet marketers and Facebook users alike, tabs have been an integral part of the brand experience on Facebook. Many major internet marketing campaigns have been hosted with the aid of tabs, displaying pertinent information about current campaigns, promotions and more. With the latest Facebook Page upgrade the once prominent tabs have been shifted to the left hand side of the page below the Page photo, making them much less noticable.
Another new feature with a big impact is the featured photos section that appears at the top of the page. Based off of the profile photos update Facebook released last year, the new featured photos section displays a main image and 5 smaller images at the top of the page. While this is a nice feature for the more photogenic businesses and celebrities, it creates a problem for brands who display few or no images on their profile.
The Facebook page for mobile app Kik Messenger quickly added a handful of generic photos of its product earlier today following the Page update, something many Page admins will surely be scrambling to do before the March 1 global push.
While the overall impact is yet to be determined, I would imagine that until Facebook users get used to yet another Facebook change, many internet marketers and Facebook Page admins will see some definite changes in user behavior. With the features that were once housed in tabs at the top of the page being less prominent, I would imagine we will see a decrease in clickthrough to these sections while users adjust. Another factor that could have an impact on clickthrough is the icon used to display what was once nothing more than text. Tabs created using specific apps now display the app’s icon next to the name. Finally, businesses who fail to upload additional images to fill the featured photos section will be left with a void of blue squares affecting the overall quality of the page and perception of the brand.
At the end of the day the overall changes to Facebook Pages are good for both consistency in Facebook user experience and for Facebook Page admins to interact with their fans. Unfortunately during the transition phase many Facebook campaigns may be negatively impacted.