If you’ve been following this blog in recent weeks, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that the most popular social networking platforms are a bunch of copycats when it comes to design. In the case of Facebook’s most recent update, it comes down to the age-old question: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
The new Facebook brand pages could be a response to Twitter’s redesign (the focus of which was on brands). Just as feasible is the idea that Facebook’s development team had been planning to roll out the Timeline to brand pages all along. Needless to say, the redesign was inevitable regardless of how it came about.
If you don’t have a very active personal profile on Facebook, here’s what you can anticipate on your revamped brand page:
- Cover Photo: The Timeline allows you to choose a graphic to feature in banner-like fashion at the very top of your page. You’ll want it to be not only attention-grabbing, but also aesthetically pleasing, so it may take more consideration that choosing your most recently uploaded picture.
- Featured Story: If any aspect of this update feels similar to Twitter, it’s the new ways Facebook is allowing brands to feature content. Now brand profiles can choose to pin important updates or special content just below the basic profile information.
- Displaced Tabs: Through the current brand page layout, profiles can include countless tabs. These are used to organize content and direct visitors to important content. With the Timeline, and the implementation of featured stories, the tabs now appear as icons below the cover photo, and only three will remain immediately visible (others can be accessed through a drop-down menu).
- No Landing Page: Perhaps the most disappointing part of this update is the inability to set a default landing page. Landing pages used to be included within the page tabs. Having transformed tabs into icons and relocated them, the Timeline does not accommodate any default landing page. Brands will now have to translate the information landing pages once provided visitors into featured content.
- Private Messages: Brand pages can now send messages directly to users without going through a page Admin’s personal account. This will not only enhance communication, but also keep clutter off the brand’s wall. For instance, questions about the company or products offered can be sent directly to a page’s inbox, and addressed on a case-by-case basis. For Best of the Web‘s Facebook fans who regularly participate in the weekly Trivia Challenges, soon you can expect to receive your prize details directly from the BOTW page.
Companies with Facebook brand profiles need to anticipate these upcoming changes, but consumers also have plenty to consider in interacting with these redesigned pages. Many Facebook users are still adjusting to the Timeline on their personal profiles. The new layout is promised to take effect within the month, so users and brands alike should take this time to adjust and prepare for the remnants of Facebook’s older appearance to disappear entirely.