Facebook Page Changes You Must Make Before You Upgrade

Social Media

Doug Antkowiak Feb 14 2011

Facebook finally made the page design changes we all expected since their accidental upload in December. Tabs are gone, FBML is on the way out and pages can talk to other pages (hope you’re hungry for a tasty batch of Facebook Spam).

Every Facebook marketer should be asking themselves, "When do I have to upgrade my pages?"

Lucky for you, Facebook isn’t forcing anyone to make these changes immediately… yet. Before you do anything, you should know some of the new design elements like the main profile image and FBML will drastically change the appearance of your page, and once you make the switch, you can’t go back.

To get your page updated and working quickly, focus on these three major features of your page during the upgrading process:

  • Photos
  • Profile Image
  • FBML

Be warned: if you don’t plan ahead, the only poking you’ll be doing is gouging your eyes out with a broken pencil.

poking

We love this ridiculous picture. Check it out in Emma’s Copywriting Nightmare’s article.

Three Features You Must Change

Feature 1: Photos

Just like how a personal profile streams photos across the top of the wall, pages will now highlight pictures that an admin posts to their page’s Wall, as well as any tagged photos. This seems like a cool idea, but these images don’t always make sense.

Facebook Thumbnails

Even the Facebook page for Facebook Pages (yeah, that’s a real thing) displays a nonsensical row of unexplainable thumbnails. It would be cool if Facebook allowed you to change each of these thumbnails so they could make sense, but until that happens I suggest removing unappealing photos by hovering over the image with your mouse and clicking the hide button after you make the upgrade.

Another suggestion that is sure to pop up over the next few weeks is to create a "photo hack" on the Wall like these creative personal profiles.

Facebook Hack

Feature 2: Profile Image

Since Facebook doesn’t have a name for the main image on a page, I’m just going to call it a profile image. In the new design, the background of the entire Facebook page is solid white and reduces the profile image dimensions from 200×600 to 180×540. This affects page designers in two ways:

1. The solid white background removes the opportunity for profile image photo hacks. The biggest example of this is when Facebook marketers insert the Facebook background boarder to create depth, a tactic used by Coca-Cola, Toyota USA and even Portent Interactive.

Portent FB page

2. Reducing the image dimensions to 180×540 creates another struggle in the fight to display a branded (and beautiful) thumbnail image on the Wall. When creating a new profile image, keep your logo within a 160×160 "Logo Area" box to prevent other graphics from invading your thumbnail.

Logo Area

Feature 3: FBML

On March 11, 2011, Facebook markup language is going the way of the Google Wave, but that doesn’t mean pages won’t have the ability to create their own content. FBML pages will still work, but Facebook highly recommends switching new content to iframes. Facebook says this will allow page users to "build apps that run across Facebook (including Pages and Canvas applications) using the same simple, standards-based web programming model (HTML, JavaScript, and CSS)."

To add an iframe to your page, access the Facebook Developer’s Application, select a Tab Name and insert your Tab URL.

FB Developers

When to Update?

Facebook has yet to set an actual deadline for page users to update into the new design, but I would assume it coincides with the end of FBML in mid-March. That means you have four weeks to implement these changes or else Facebook will make the switch for you and your page will look like crap.

tags : Facebook PagesFacebook UpdatesNew Facebook Page Update