Shortly after announcing its revamped News Feed in March, Facebook introduced a more streamlined look for Pages. The redesign, which has only been rolled out to a small number of Pages since, features changes that both admins and fans will notice. Understandably, Page admins have had a lot of questions about the new look, particularly what it means for pinned posts and the location of tabs and apps.
Change of any kind can be disorienting to community managers, especially when you’re managing multiple Pages that may receive access to the redesign at different times. Facebook recently took to its blog to answer some of the most popular questions asked by Page admins. As you’re likely curious about some of the same things, you’ll find the company’s answers below, as well as more analysis on what these changes mean for your Facebook presence.
What Information Will Appear in the Left-Side Column of My Page?
The most noticeable change is the layout. Facebook Pages are still made up of two columns, but they serve different purposes now. The right column is dedicated to your timeline, while the left features information about your brand. According to Facebook, this information will vary from business to business.
For instance, for businesses that operate primarily online, the left-side column will display Likes, information about your business, apps, photos, videos, posts to Page, and the Pages your Page likes. In addition to this, the left side will display a map, phone number, and hours of business for businesses with brick-and-mortar locations.
Facebook noted that Page admins will soon have the ability to rearrange the order in which these sections appear. While it’s recommended that important business details remain near the top, you might want your photos and videos to appear above apps, for example.
Where Will My Apps Appear?
App location is a major concern for Pages that rely on them for engagement. In the older design, apps were prominently featured below the cover photo among the different tabs. This isn’t the case in the new design. Apps will appear in two locations: in the left-side column, or in the top navigation menu below the “More” tab.
Although the left-side location requires fans to scroll down to view apps, keep in mind that you’ll eventually be able to customize the arrangement of these sections. So you will be able to move apps up closer to the top of the page if you desire. Similarly, you can also expect the ability to rearrange the order in which apps appear within that section.
Where Can I View Messages?
A primary goal of the updated timeline design is to make it easier and faster for admins to access the tools they use most. Less time you spend looking for something means you’ll have more time to connect with your fans. Pages that have activated messages can view them in two locations: the Activity tab at the top of the Page, or in the This Week box that runs along the right side of the Page.
According to Facebook’s original announcement, the This Week box can be located along the right side of your Page at all times. So no matter where you are on your timeline, you can easily and quickly access details about the ads you’re running, new Likes, and unread notifications and messages. This is especially helpful if you have interns helping out with social outreach who are just getting started with Facebook Pages.
Will Other Pages Know I’ve Added Them to My Pages to Watch List?
In addition to changing the appearance of Pages, Facebook also opened up its new Pages to Watch feature to all admins. Previously only available to a select group of testers, this Facebook Insights feature allows you to create a list of Pages similar to your own and compare the performance of your Pages with that of another business.
Admins will receive notifications whenever their Pages are added to another Page’s watch list. However, while the notification indicates that their Pages have been added to the lists, it doesn’t disclose the name of the Pages that added them. So if you’re intending to use this feature for competitive intelligence purposes, Page XYZ won’t know that your Page, a known competitor, was the one to add it.
There have also been some concerns around image sizes and whether those will change. Although Facebook has yet to release an official image size guide for the new Pages, reports have shown that Page posts will expand to 511 pixels wide, instead of the previous 403 pixel limit. This should encourage you to upload bigger images to the network, as well as inside of the articles you’re sharing.
If you haven’t already been given access to the new design, know that it’s coming. Most Pages should have by now received a prompt to join the wait list for the layout at the top of their Page. While you wait, keep in mind that the change might seem superficial, but it can have a significant impact on your Facebook Ad and content strategies. With only one column dedicated to content, it puts a lot of pressure on you to share quality information.
Although posts can still be pinned to the top of your Page, fans will have to scroll down further to view additional updates. If your timeline is littered with irrelevant posts, chances are they won’t keep scrolling to find news about your latest products. Additionally, with less real estate to work with, you might consider utilizing Promoted Posts more often to extend the reach of your updates. It’s worth looking at your existing content strategy for areas in need of improvement while you wait for the new design to take effect.
[Image credit: Chase Elliott Clark]
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.