Update: August 10, 2010:
Facebook is previewing the reduced-width application tab changes. See our blog post on the 520px application tab width reductions and the implications.
Update: May 27, 2010:
A “Facebook spokesman” told Inside Facebook that the changes to application tab widths “will likely happen in late July, but we’ll give Page administrators at least two weeks notice before making this change regardless of when it happens.”
Um, okay. Let’s see what happens….
Pre-May 27, 2010
This morning I read a very interesting post by Michael Lazerow of BuddyMedia.com about Facebook’s upcoming changes to Fan Pages.
There are a number of changes that will affect marketers who’ve been working Facebook, but for me, as a Web designer, the one that caused the most pain was Facebook’s intention of reducing the width of application pages from 760 pixels to 520 pixels.
The first thing I did was look for another authoritative source of this and, unfortunately, I found it on Facebook’s Developer site where, in stark red type, they state: “Important: In late 2009/early 2010, application tabs will be 520 pixels wide. For more information, please read the Developer Roadmap.” On the Developer Roadmap:
Application Tabs will be the only way to integrate applications into profiles and Pages. Application tabs will shrink from 760 pixels wide (today) to 520* pixels wide to accommodate a slightly revised design. Boxes, info sections, and the Boxes tab will be removed in the near future.
Now that’s a BIG difference and all the brands/businesses who’ve labored over creating custom pages using apps like Static FBML are going to have to rethink those pages, now that they have 240 fewer pixels to work with. Here’s what the maximum width will look like (example from a recent page we created, anticipating the reduction):
So I and a whole lot of Web designers have their work cut out for them, so to speak.
Of course, the question is, What happens to that 240 pixels of new real estate Facebook has available to use for itself? Is this a “land grab” by Facebook?