If you haven’t noticed, Facebook has changed its homepage layout, and a lot of the features available to user profiles are now also available for Pages.
I've spent the better part of this week fooling around with the new layout and features that Facebook has made available on their Pages, and trying to make heads or tails out of what is being communicated to our "fans," when it is being communicated, and how. The biggest change to Pages has been the new Wall and Stream tabs as well as the ability to send Status Updates from your page.
So, Yay for all the new toys…now what do we do with them?
The Wall allows users to post comments, just like on a profile, and ends up being the home for a large portion of user generated content for your Page. The Stream tab similarly aggregates any changes that you've made to the page such as adding blog postings, links, events, etc.. Fans of your page are then notified when you update or change anything on the profile automatically. There in lies a problem. It's not THE problem, but it's one of them. I understand that it is good to update fans when changes are made to the Page, it has the potential to create a lot more active discussion and real-time interaction, but it also has the ability to overwhelmingly spam users about our Page. Will users really want to know about every single time we upload a new picture, or post an interesting link?
Some of the same issues arise when it comes to the Status Update feature. In a lot of ways the Status Update is similar to a Twitter feed, so how do we keep the communication relevant and engaging without being perceived as a pest? Since updates are being shared real-time with users, it is becoming more and more important to keep the communication on a level that creates interest without turning fans off with too much information.
The new tabbed layout also presents some interesting questions. The tabs generally consist of the wall, an info tab, a discussion tab, and a Boxes tab, but the Boxes tab seems to be a catch all for applications that don't seem to fit anywhere else, it could very easily be called "other" or "stuff." Even in Facebook's example page of their product guide, the Boxes tab doesn't seem to be fleshed out. So this leaves me wondering how to best use available applications to relate to our users, or if this tab will end up being the neglected big box of stuff that nobody cares about tab.
Because these changes are new, it is still uncertain how either organizations or fans will react and start to use these new tools to communicate. It seems that no matter what, facebook will continue to occupy way too much of my time online. And now I need to hunt down a decent podcast application for facebook to fill up that Boxes tab.