Facebook rolled out new features today to “help you manage communication, express yourself, and increase engagement”.
Their improvements include:
Many people have asked for better ways to keep up with activity on their Page. We are introducing a set of features to help manage your Page communication. Starting today, you can navigate and interact with other areas of Facebook as your Page. This means you can choose to receive notifications about fan activity, Like and comment on other Pages as your Page, and get your own News Feed where you can engage with the latest and most important news from other Pages you like.
More Opportunities for Expression
We are introducing new opportunities for Pages to share. We recently launched a new Profile design, to give users more ways to tell their stories with people they care about. Now, Pages will benefit from many of the same enhancements. Starting today, you can feature photos of your Page’s most recent experiences at the top of your Page. You can highlight other Pages you are connected with as well as the people who are managing your Page.
Finally, we are very excited to announce some new features to make your Page even more engaging for users. The “Everyone” filter on the Wall provides a new way for people to see the most interesting posts first. We’ve also created a place for people to discover the friends and interests they have common with your Page.
We plan to develop even more features and improvements for Pages over the course of the coming months.
There were nearly 800 comments on their post as of 8:40 pm on 2/10/10, some good some bad. Facebook page Web Friendly summed up the changes nicely:
I have been seeing a lot of people “hatin” on the new changes to Facebook Pages. First of all, if you’re entire income is based on your Facebook Fan Pages it’s not a great idea… set up a landing page that captures your fans email addresses so that you are not at the mercy of Facebook. I agree with many of the angry Facebook users, it will take some time to get used to the changes, however I can see where facebook is going with this.
1) The new messages system will make it far more likely fans will read messages you send through your fan page. Your Facebook email inbox and Fan Page updates are mashed together in one inbox. I know this because I have had the “new messages” preview for some time now and soon you will too.
2) The new Deals feature will set you up with a direct response marketing system that will make you far more money then you are currently making marketing directly to customers. Not to mention the potential for a widly adopted Facebook currency called Facebook Credits which will make it even easier for customers to pay you.
3) I think the new Places feature will allow you to capture the contacts that check-in to your locations as fans (I also think Places will be integrated with your Pages soon enough), which you can then continue to market to after they check-in. Foursquare recently enabled this feature to their location owners.
4) You can get really creative with the pictures that run across the top. I know this seems to be what everyone hates the most so far but check out: http://www.allfacebook.com/profile-photo-hacks-become-easier-than-ever-2010-12 I’m sure these will work for Fan Pages soon enough.
5) I believe you can no longer “suggests to friends”, this may be good since it is often an abused feature. However, I have seen this opetion still available on some of my pages and not others. Not sure what’s happening with this.
6) The Fan Page Wall is no longer in chronological order… This is kind of confusing to me… It would be nice to have the same option we have in our news feeds to switch from “Top News” to “Most Recent”. Hopefully Facebook will add this feature in the near future.
I believe the people at Facebook (and that Mark guy) are smart people, they are not taking away value for businesses, they are tryin to add more. It will just take some time for people to get used to the new UI. Be patient, and understand that they are trying to make it better for everyone, users and businesses.