Last week Facebook launched a major redesign and functionality expansion of its Pages.

Page admins and FB developers take note – here is a summary of the key changes;

Bye bye, tabs

Page ‘tabs’ are soon to be a thing of the past with the page navigation links now situated on the left of the page, under the profile picture – just like on people’s profiles.

 fb3 

This brings both positives and negatives. On a positive note this menu permits longer tab names, which means developers can try using longer, more descriptive titles for their applications.

The bad news is that the new view will still only show six tabs above the fold. Also, the tabs are no longer front-and-centre of the page. This shift could reduce the frequency with which users visit tabs other than the default landing tab.

Hello photo-strips

Much like the recently redesigned user profiles, Pages now have a photo-strip above the wall that displays the latest photos the Page has ‘tagged’ itself in.

However, there is one big difference in that the photos will be displayed in a different order every time the page loads, preventing admins creating the ‘continuous banner’ effect that has become popular in new user profiles.

In addition, the main profile picture has also been reduced slightly in size from 200 x 600 pixels to 180 x 540.

Admins can ‘Use Facebook as page’

Page admins can now choose to “Use Facebook as Page” from the Account drop-down menu in the top right corner of Facebook;

fb1

This will allow page admins to;

  • Receive notifications when people interact with your page or posts
  • Find other pages to like and comment on them as your page
  • Keep up with the other pages you’ve liked through a newsfeed just for your page

Before you get too excited, there are limits in that Pages can’t post on user profiles, nor can they have friends.

You can go back to use Facebook as yourself anytime – just click ‘Account’ and select your name.

fb5

New Wall filters

Pages will now have two Wall filters. You can show posts by your page and top posts from ‘Everyone’, a new way for people to see the most interesting stories first. As an admin, you’ll have additional filters for viewing posts on your page.

fb6

Recent posts by friends, posts by other users in same language or country, and posts that have received a lot of Likes and comments will appear to the top.

Tabs now support Iframes

Developers fear not! – the Page redesign does not affect the Page APIs, so you don’t need to worry about current applications breaking.

In fact, in addition to FBML, developers can now build Page Tab apps using iframes – a feature that’s been a long time coming. You can read more about developing Iframe applications on the Facebook Developer blog.

Not surprisingly, there has been some negativity towards this shift in page design – Facebook users don’t like change. But that said, users have grown familiar with the new profile over the last two months so it should be easy for them to acclimate to the page redesign.

Overall the new design and features create a more consistent and ‘visual’ browsing experience, which can only be a good thing.

Page admins can preview and tour these new features at www.facebook.com/pages/status/. These new features can either be implemented now or you can wait until 1 March  when all Pages will be automatically migrated to the redesign.

What do you think? Are you a developer or page admin? How will these changes effect your page?

For more Facebook news, checkout  www.insidefacebook.com.