InsideFacebook reports that Facebook, in the face of widespread griping about their decision to set a threshold of 10,000 fans before page admins can set a default landing tab other than the Wall or Info or spend $25K (yup, $25K!) to get “authenticated”, has reversed course and removed those restrictions.
Facebook announced today that fan pages can’t set any tab other than the Wall or Info as the default landing tab until it either has 10,000 fans or the Page admin works with their ads account manager. This means no setting of canvas tabs or Static FBML tabs as default landing tabs unless you’re ready to spend serious money on Facebook advertising or serious effort building up your fan base to 10,000.
The All Facebook blog speculates that this is either driven by the desire to cut down on spam or boost revenue. I must admit I’m not sure how this cuts down on spam, but I can certainly see that it at least attempts to steer more businesses into spending on Facebook advertising. However, if you check out the spend thresholds for working with a Facebook ads account manager, you’ll see that pricing starts at $10,000, to “begin the authentication process.” So 10K fans or 10K dollars is the name of the game.
Are Fan Pages that already have the custom landing tab grandfathered in?
I tested the HyperArts Fan Page and, for non-fans, it still defaults to our Static FBML landing tab, so perhaps if you already have this set up, your fan page will be grandfathered in. But I’m not sure what will happen if, say, you decide on a new landing tab and try to change it.
Our good friends at BrandCraft offer the following advice:
This makes the Share, Comment and other Social Functions very important to have integrated into custom facebook tabs. Every custom tab built needs to have the social elements as part of the design. This is important because it adds a second layer to the advertising campaign. If you have a non fan come to your page through advertising you want them to take an action that shares that page with their friends, because that one non fan can turn into ten non fans with one action.
Also Status Updates need to contain links to these custom tabs too. When you attach the link within a status update it is going to pull the page’s meta data but the url will direct them to the custom page you designated. Again once you get a user to the custom page the social functions are the key to increasing page traffic.
Facebook helpfully states: “Also, for advertisers who don’t have a representative or 10k fans, and want to run ads and land users on a specific tab, you can still do so with standard Facebook ads by making their Destination URL as the URL incl. your tab. Unfortunately, this currently will not work with “Fan” ads.”
Whatever the case, it again points out that developing on the Facebook platform is like developing at the foot of a volcano. With Facebook, there are no standards and nothing is guaranteed. Caveat emptor!