Many of you have emailed asking about what the design and functionality changes will mean for your fan page and how this affects your FBiframes Apps.
Out with the old…
Your FBiframes Social Apps will still work and function the same, but they will, shall we say, need some redecorating to better match the new Timeline layout. With a little creativity, and some getting used to it, we will all smoothly transition into Timeline heaven.
So it is official – on March 30th you will need to adjust to the changes set forth by Zuckerberg and the powers that be at Facebook. As big of a change that this is, it will be a smooth transition, and if you really absorb the why and what of this transition your company will come out ahead of your competition.
In with the new…
The “Bad” Stuff
No Default Landing Tab (So you have no Traffic Control?)
Facebook is forcing you to become more creative in your conversation with your community. One big change when it comes to apps on a fan page is you will not be able to choose a landing page tab for your fan page (everyone gets sent to the wall). Most people would say that this is the biggest single drawback of the new page design… But, in reality what this is doing is requiring that you to become more socially active and content-creative in getting visitors to engage with your companies custom apps and finally Liking your page.
Limited Number of Tabs
With the new Timeline layout, there is only space for 4 tabs in the initial view, and one of them is required to be the Photos tab. This means you only have 3 spaces to work with, and you’ll probably want your “Likes” count to be one of them, making it 2. With a limited number of tabs you will need to prioritize and strategize which apps will best enhance your relationship with your social media community. You should understand what, why and how a Facebook fan page becomes an important hub in your company’s Social Media Marketing Strategy.
You Can’t Move the Photos Tab, says Facebook
Facebook Photos’ tab is not movable. You can’t do it (at least for now). Hopefully Facebook will allow page administrators to move it so that you can use that valuable space for more useful apps, but for the time being it’s stuck there.
Now let’s get into the good stuff that Timeline has to offer.
The “Good” Stuff
The Cover Image
What a great opportunity to brand your company with your social media community. The new “cover image” on the Timeline layout allows you to convey your brand with a huge 850px by 315px image. Have some fun, show off your skills as they say – an image is worth a 1,000 words. Be creative but sum up what your fan page (and thus business) is about.
(Some restrictions apply such as no direct call to action, no website URL, and no directions to Like or Share your page.)
New Custom App Icons
No more itty-bitty icons for your tabs / apps. Your fan page now gets much larger icons located directly beneath your Cover Image. And, unlike the old page design, the new Timeline lets you upload your own custom tab icon/image for each FBiframes app. This lets you advertise your apps to your community as you deem fit.
Larger Design for App Pages
FBiframes apps ARE fully functioning within the new page design. Yes, your fan page will require some design work on your part if you want to take advantage of the larger canvas that is now available. For example, the width of the “old” layout was 520px, and that‘s probably the size of the images you added to your app. You don’t have to, but you’ll probably want to upload images for the new width (810px).
Fan-Gating Still Works
Contrary to some blogger posts, you can still use our fan-gate (like-gate) functionality to require visitors to “Like” your page before gaining access to certain apps. There is a bug currently with the like button and 3rd party apps https://developers.facebook.com/bugs/228778937218386 and Facebook is working on it.
Customer Service Through Facebook – try the new Direct Messaging
Users will be able to send a direct message to you, the fan page owner, which may come in handy for customer service, allowing you to give more personal attention to an individual.
These are just a few of the changes that we’re noticing right now, and we expect that it will continue to evolve as more brands begin to adopt the new Timeline for fan pages. Timeline is here to stay, and FBiframes’ apps will continue to engage and enhance your social media communities experience with your brand, no matter what direction Facebook decides to take its designs.
Let us know your thoughts and share your ideas on the Timeline for Facebook fan pages.