Facebook has made major updates to Pages, making them a lot more interactive, functional and easy to maintain. Here’s a look at some of the updates and what they mean for you:
Photos at the top just like in the new profile
While some complained about the photos that are now shown at the top in the new user profiles, others used their creativity to create cool Facebook profile photo hacks. This feature is now integrated in the Page as well, making Pages appear more like user profiles. For admins worried about brand integrity and reputation management, have no fear: only photos uploaded by the page administrators to the wall of the page and photos tagged by the Page will show up in this section.
Use Facebook as Your Page
Gone are the days when Facebook forced you to violate their terms of service if you wanted to interact with others as your page and not yourself. Instead of having to open an account with your company name in order to post on other pages and interact with other Facebook users, which was a violation of Facebook’s TOS and something they could theoretically shut down your account and page over, now you can interact on Facebook as your page. All you have to do is click on the “Use Facebook as your page link” on the right hand side, or from Account in the top menu, and, voila, you are now the Page and no longer yourself. You can interact with others, post on people’s walls, get notifications, and the works. The lack of notifications in the old form of Pages was a big hassle for anyone trying to manage a Page who was concerned about hateful user posts to the page. You would have to constantly check the page to see if anything had changed. Now, you can get notifications.
Facebook is also allowing you to do the opposite. You can post on a page you administer as yourself and not as the page. Thus, if you are an alumni of the Page you administer, you can both act as yourself, interacting with your former classmates and friends under your own name, and administer the page at the same time. Gone are the days of logging in to that Facebook company account that violates the TOS simply to maintain your ability to comment on the page as yourself.
There are now two filters for displaying posts to the page. Either just the page’s posts, or everyone. When the default that is chosen is everyone, posts will no longer show up in chronological order. Rather, they’ll show the most engaging posts first, based on their algorithmic decisions. If you want your posts to appear in chronological order, the option of just your page will maintain the posts in chronological order. When the default mode is everyone, page admins will have other filters, such as most recent and hidden posts.
I really hope Facebook will add the option to filter posts by “most recent” for everyone and not just page admins, just like you have the option to do so on your own newsfeed. I can see this being a point of contention for many users of the new Page, and I’m sure this is something Facebook will rectify in future updates.
Email notifications are finally here
The lack of email notifications for Page Admins was a rather essential feature that was missing. I’m excited to see how Facebook will get a handle on the email notifications, because as I said before, when you are managing a large page with hundreds of comments on posts, you need to know when new comments are posted and fans upload new updates to the page in order to monitor and censor the comments. I hope Facebook will find a way to keep us up to date with what’s going on with the Page while not cluttering our inboxes with a million emails a day that we’ll just end up ignoring and defeating the purpose.
Moderation Blocklist and Spam Filtering
This great feature allows you to automatically block posts or comments from fans that include words you select. For instance, if you’re running a Page for a large Jewish non-profit, you can block all posts and comments that contain racial or antisemitic slurs. Facebook can also automatically block profanity, helping to keep your pages child friendly. You can update these settings from the manage permissions section of the administrator interface.
Facebook will mark posts they view as spam in gray, and these posts will be hidden from the public. Page admins can view these posts from the spam filter and unmark posts they don’t think are spam so that they’ll be available to the public. This is another great new addition- it used to be when you marked something as spam it simply disappeared and was gone forever, with no way of restoring it. You would have to check everything to try and catch the spam – now Facebook is getting involved and animating the process.
In keeping with the streamlining of Pages to look more like user profiles, the navigation no longer appears in tabs at the top of the page but as options on the side of the page.
Page Category is Editable and open to the World
When you first created your pages, you had to choose which category you wanted to classify your page in. Until now, that setting didn’t openly show up on your page and it wasn’t something you could change. Now, underneath the name of your page, you have the classification of your page. When transferring to the new page format, make sure you update the category to accurately reflect your page. Right next to the category you have the option of “Edit Info”, which will take you to the interface where you can change your category, all of your basic info, and sign up for a custom url if you haven’t done so already. Based on the category you choose, you’ll have some other fields you can update in the info section.
Profile Pics are a New Size
Profile picture size has been adjusted to 180 pixels by 540 pixels. The old pics were 200 X 600. While you have lost some size in the photo, the page has gained a lot of additional eye catching pics with the photos at the top of the page like in profiles. You have to make sure when switching to the new Page to properly adjust your page’s profile pic to fit the new size.
The Bottom Line
Facebook made major strides in improving its Pages with these updates. Page admins have been given a lot more control and functionality with administering their pages, something which will help to further push the development of Pages over Groups. In particular, the ability to interact with others as your page, the added pictures at the top, the streamlining of the interface, the email and Facebook notifications , and the spam filters are changes that I believe will have a major impact in improving the usability and maintenance of Facebook pages. While there are bound to be some speed-bumps along the way, this update is a tremendous improvement for the Facebook Pages platform.
If you want more info, check out Facebook’s Help Section on the New Pages