It’s common for Facebook users, as well as Page Admins, to complain about Facebook changes when they happen. Changes to the platform can cause inconvenience to Page admins, and users have to learn how the new features work, which can be frustrating. However, it’s good to keep in mind that Facebook wants to make their platform as user-friendly as possible. So their changes, while perhaps annoying in the short term, are usually beneficial in the long run.
With that in mind, here are some of the most recent updates and reminders of upcoming changes:
Dude, Where’s My Timeline?
It’s been over a month since Facebook first announced the new Profile layout, called Timeline, but there has been no official explanation regarding the delay in rolling this new look out to all users. Right now, developers are the only ones who can use and play with the new Timeline.
Here are some articles that suggest reasons for the delay:
“Negative Feedback…” - Read Write Web
“It will launch when it’s ready…” – All Facebook
“Lawsuit?” – Mashable
Reverting to “old” News Feed
Facebook made a plethora of changes to the News Feed over the past months. However, now it seems like they are reverting back to some of the old methods of sorting content due to user complaints. The “new” News Feed was offering “Top Stories” to users at the top of their stream, rather than “Most Recent” or “New” stories at the top. However, it sounds like we will start to see recent stories first again.
“UPDATE on Wednesday, November 9th, 2011: Now you have a new way of sorting your News Feed: most recent stories first. You can also continue to view highlighted stories first, followed by recent stories, like what you see today. If you don’t have the updates to News Feed yet, you can expect to see them over the coming weeks as the rollout continues.”
A Few Reminders for Page Admins
We try to keep you updated on Facebook changes and announcements as they happen, but Facebook consistently makes change announcements and then waits months and months to implement changes. So we thought it would be helpful share some reminders of past announcements:
Static FBML / FBML will be gone after June 1, 2012
Tim has written several blog posts about this pending change, which will effectively remove any custom tab created with the old application Static FBML. Facebook encouraged us to stop using FBML many months ago, and we have since moved (happily) to iFrames for custom tab development. However, Facebook did not actually remove tabs created with the old application, so many Pages continue to use FBML.
Well, listen up folks! It’s time to make the switch!
Here is a great list of alternatives to the Static FBML application, for those of you with custom tabs – via Social Media Examiner.
No more Importing Blogs via Notes
Facebook has been announcing this to Page Admins for months now, but you might not have gotten the memo. This is important to know, because once Facebook stops allowing RSS feeds to import into Notes, you will have to find a new way to share your recent blog posts with fans. Read more.
No more Reviews / Discussions Tabs on App Profile Pages
Again, this is important for Page Admins because any conversations or reviews that you want to save should be grabbed now, before they disappear…forever! Read more. (NOTE: Facebook removed these on Nov 8, 2011, per a Nov 11, 2011 Developer Blog post.)
If you are currently using Notes, Discussions or Reviews, here are some alternatives once they have been removed:
- Notes: If you were using Notes to automatically import your blog’s RSS feed into your FB Page, and onto your Wall, you need to come up with a new strategy. Facebook actually encourages Page admins to share their recent blog posts manually on their Wall, rather than using an automated service. This makes your Page Wall content more organic and interesting to your fans. It seems that Facebook wants to discourage all automatic posting methods.
- Reviews: Facebook has replaced verbs again! “Review” is now “Recommend” and the process is also different. Users can share a recommendation of a Page…but only if that Page is also a Place. You need to add an address to your Page’s Info tab in order to become a Place. Encourage your fans to use this feature instead of Reviews. (App Reviews and Discussions were removed from App Profile Pages on Nov 8, 2011, per a Nov 11, 2011 Developer Blog post.)
GOOD NEWS: Page Admins have more control over the Recommendations on their Page than they did over Reviews.You can hide bad or spammy Recommendations quite easily, and only friends of the recommending fan will still be able to see their note. Learn more about Recommendations.
- Discussions: Facebook has not given a good alternative to the Discussions app yet, but their explanation for this is the same at their response to Notes: You should be having conversations on the Wall, that’s what it’s for! Encourage your fans to ask you questions on the Wall, and anyone can join the conversation there. (App Reviews and Discussions were removed from App Profile Pages on Nov 8, 2011, per a Nov 11, 2011 Developer Blog post.)
“We’ve found that the best way to encourage conversation and feedback is through posts and comments on your Wall, so we’re removing the Reviews and Discussions tabs for now.”
Of course, there are other applications that offer similar services to Notes, Discussions and Reviews. You can find apps that have auto-posting services for RSS feeds, and forum apps allow you to have discussion-style conversations on custom tabs. For reviews you could curate your own reviews or testimonials tab with a custom app as well.
Do you have a favorite alternative app that you use already? Please share links to services that offer an alternative way to:
- auto post RSS feeds to the Wall;
- host discussion forums on tabs;
- allow fans to “review” your business or organization.
We would love to hear your thoughts!