Big, big news from Facebook coming today. Facebook is rolling out major, major
changes for fan pages. This will include the mandatory adoption of the Timeline by March 30, 2012.
We have been previewing some of the changes, and here are the high points:
- No more like-gating. From what we can tell, the ability to like-gate your page will either go away completely or will be given a major overhaul. We can’t see any obvious hints at an overhaul, but we’ll know a little more after the press conference, I’m sure. We will still be able to like-gate promotions through apps.
- Better placement for apps. Custom tabs- including apps- are now given a large thumbnail with placement at the top of the page just below the cover photo. This is much more prominent than the previous left-margin icon placement. Plus, we will be able to use the cover photo space to point directly to promo tabs, which will make it infinitely easier to drive organic traffic to your promotion.
- More real estate for apps. It appears that Facebook is allocating more space to apps, increasing their on-screen footprint from 520 pixels wide up to 850 pixels wide. This means more content above the fold in promotions. It also means better, more prominent sponsor graphics and more traffic for sponsors.
- Better admin controls. You will now be able to share your page and invite friends via email contact directly from your page- including the ability to import contacts from a database. This means we’ll be able to leverage your email database via iContact or any other email provider to drive traffic DIRECTLY to your Facebook page using standard Facebook Connect and Open Graph functions. Other admin improvements include easier, more accessibly app and tab controls. Some of the more commonly used admin controls will be placed above your cover photo on your page, as opposed to hidden away in the “Edit Page” section.
- Cover photo. This is an obvious one, but it deserves some attention. Similar to the cover photo on personal profiles, we will now have a cover photo for fan pages. This is alot of real estate and can be used in numerous ways- primarily to direct the flow of traffic to points further down the page.
- Brand History. This is old news, of course, but the introduction of Timeline for Pages means that we can re-create the entire history of your brand on a chronological graph. For tourism, technology, and consumer brands, this is an incredible feature that we’ll be paying close attention to in the coming months.
All in all, Facebook seems to have FINALLY gotten it right. I’m sure there will be some nay-sayers when these changes are forced on the Facebook community, but I can’t see anything negative about what Facebook is introducing today. Needless to say, we’re excited. Keep your fingers crossed!
Facebook is giving a live press conference today at 1PM EST. If you have time, tune in and watch. This is a game-changer.