This post was originally on my personal blog - joelwolfgang.com. I'm posting it hear because I believe that it's extremely relevant. Facebook announced that their Pages are changing, and I think you'll see that they are quite an improvement over what they used to be. Let us know what you think in the comments.
Just yesterday Facebook opened up their new version of Facebook Pages, yes they have a new look, but that new look is similar to the Facebook Places Pages, so its not a completely unfamiliar redesign. They announced that you can upgrade your pages to the new look and design now, but that all Pages will move to the the new feature rich design on March 10, 2011. Lets take a look a the features that Facebook highlights in their tour.
Photos like the new Profile Pages
The latest photos section runs across the top of the screen much like it does across the rest of Facebook, this change shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, but those of you who don't have very many pictures on your Page should look to change that.
Navigation Bar moves to the left side of the Page underneath the profile Picture.
This may give us a look into some study that Facebook has been doing. Possibly saying that web users are more inclined to engage with a navigation bar on the left hand side than the top. They would probably have the best set of user data out there. Something to at least keep in mind for your next project.
Facebook now allows you to show top content on your Facebook page. I believe this will be great for marketers. You no longer have to wait to post new content in fear of thwarting off users, and the best posts with the greatest conversations will remain near the top to increase the level of participation.
Use Facebook as your Page
This is addresses one my clients' biggest concerns about Facebook. You can now communicate across Facebook as your Facebook page (make comments, like posts, etc.). Also the opposite is true you'll now be able to comment on or like posts as yourself - the only way previously I found I was able to do this was through the iPhone app. You'll also be able to get notifications in your email of when people post or comment on your Page.
Facebook Showcases some new settings in their admin panel. Also adding this great new larger button that makes it easier to see and interact with.
You can now create a moderation block list just add comma separated words to this text box and all posts containing those words will be treated like spam. Similarly you'll be able to set a profanity blocklist, Facebook will block the most commonly reported words and phrases marked as offensive by the broader community.
Featured Administrators and Pages
You can now set featured administrators and pages for users to interact with. So if you wanted to promote other pages or administrators it would be entirely possible. Now there are a ton of new features, but a couple note worthwhile to mention. The width of the middle section of the Pages seems to be smaller - 492px instead of the 520px on the old format. There was no mention of this in the developer roadmap so I'm not sure if its a mistake or if its intentional. Also Facebook announced that its deprecating the Static FBML app and moving to completely iframe custom tabs. I believe that this is a good move for users because you'll have much more control over the content that you're custom tab can show. While still being able to use alot of the Facebook features that we've grown accustomed too. Overall I think the changes to the Facebook Pages are good and will help users engage more which only helps those with Pages. What do you think? Do you like the new Pages?