After a bunch of rumors, it looks like Facebook is finally upgrading its “Pages” application. Notifications began rolling out to users a couple of days ago, and by the looks of it, the changes will be for the better. As of now, you can preview the changes, take a tour, and start using the new layout right away. On March 10, all Facebook Pages will be forced to switch to the new layout.
For all you procrastinators out there, I took the tour, and I must say that I was very pleased (for once). Most of the new features look like they will be quite helpful, and below I’ve listed some of these features and what you can do with them as a musician.
Basically, Facebook wants their “Pages” application to look, act, and feel just like the regular ol’ profile pages. Personally, I am a fan of the new layout, and I’m excited that they’ve decided to apply it to Facebook Pages as well. I think it is cleaner, and much easier to navigate.
Showcase your latest photos
Much like the new Facebook profiles, the “Pages” application now puts more emphasis on your latest photos. Whenever you post a photo to your wall or tag your page on a photo, it will appear as a thumbnail front and center at the top of your page. Some designers have gotten creative with this functionality, and it could be a fun way for you to promote something, or creatively brand your page.
No more dreaded tabs!
Man, how I hated those ugly blue tabs. Those are gone with this new upgrade, and replaced with a clean list of links directly underneath your page’s default picture. They function the same way, but don’t use up valuable page real estate.
New wall filters
The Facebook wall on Pages now has two filters: “Everyone”, which is a list of the most interesting stories (aka the most liked/commented) from all users, and “[Your Page Name]“, which only displays status updates from (yup, you guessed it) your page.
Better admin capabilities
As a page admin, you can now interact with other areas of Facebook as a page instead of using your personal account. This is the functionality that I’ve been hoping for all along, and helps alleviate some confusion between pages and profiles.
Use Facebook as a page
In Facebook, you now have the option to use it “as a page.” Navigate to the Account tab on the top right of any page, and select “Use Facebook as Page.” A pop-up will load, and you can select which page you’d like to use as your identity. You can now get notifications about activity on your page, see stories from the pages you like in your news feed, and interact with other pages as your page.
Once you select a page to use, you can view recent “likes” and notifications of when fans interact with your page, which is awesome. Also, you can set up e-mail notifications if you prefer that method.
Pages can “like” other pages
Additionally, you can now “like” other pages with your page. As an artist, you can use this functionality to cross-promote with other bands, brands, and organizations.
Obviously, you now have control over all the above features that I mentioned. You can decide which featured pages appear in your sidebar, whether to post as yourself or your page identity, and which e-mail notifications you would like to receive. Yay, control!
PHEW! You can still select the default landing tab
I was worried that they were going to do away with this functionality, but it’s still there. You can still select the default landing tab for your Facebook page, so visitors who haven’t liked your page yet can be directed to, let’s say, a custom welcome tab.
Has anyone else messed around with the new page layout yet? I’d love to hear your thoughts below…