Facebook has just launched the timeline for brand pages – expect alot of noise on this over the next few weeks.  The new design and functionality has created a completely new user experience and raises a number of questions to boot.  Here are some of the key things you need to know about the new brand pages:

New cover photos – As with individual profiles, Facebook brand pages will run with a full width cover photo.  This gives brands more space for messaging and opens up more creative opportunities.  Think of a static version of a banner on a website homepage…

Where has the wall gone? – It’s all still there but now you will find it tucked away under a sub menu.  The initial view provides highlights from the wall.  The  new layout might be confusing for users to find and browse the “wall” in the usual fashion.

 

Where have the apps gone? – Again they are still here but concealed within the menu below the cover photo.  This menu features a blend of media content (photos, videos, likes etc.) as well as icons which represent applications and tabs of old.

 

This menu can be expanded to view all of the applications and content that you would expect to see from the tabs menu in the conventional page layout.

 

New canvas size – applications or “tabs” will now sit in a new canvas size.  An expanded Facebook canvas was phased in last year but now this has been cleaned up removing the app activity down the right hand side.  Original size page tabs fit within this canvas but look more like photos from a gallery on first glance.  Applications can be accessed from a new drop down menu along the top of the canvas.  This extra, cleaner canvas will certainly allow  more creativity for app designers and developers…

 

No more landing pages or ‘Fan Gating’- that’s right, the removal of landing pages from brand pages will prohibit page managers from gating entry to the page with a “Fan Gate”.  Equally page owners will not be able to set a default landing “tab” to their brand page –  instead they will need very effective sign posting from the new menu system.

Private Messaging – Facebook have introduced the ability to communicate directly with fans of the page via private message.  This is a change of policy for Facebook who until now, had prohibited direct contact.

New Admin Panel – Page owners, managers and admin’s beware! Preview of the new layout below…

 

For more questions around the new brand pages you can try visiting the FAQ section on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/help/pages/new-design

 

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