Social networks are continuously updating their platforms to introduce new features and make adjustments. Facebook is no exception, and staying abreast of all the changes can be a difficult task. Most recently, Facebook made a series of modifications to the desktop version of Pages, which many businesses use to promote their products and for branding. The purpose was to simplify the page structure to resemble the mobile version more closely. Here’s a recap of the modifications made:
1. Cover Image
One of the most significant changes regards the cover image. Facebook removed the profile picture, page name, call-to-action, and other buttons from the cover, leaving it completely unencumbered and ideal for branding and advertising purposes.
At 828 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall on the desktop version (and 640×360 on smartphones), the image dimensions remain the same. But differences in alignment may require that you alter it to fit.
Case in point, dlvr.it, a content syndication platform, saw the text on its Facebook page cover image “bleed” off the right-hand side due to the realignment. The company had to remove the text to resolve the problem.
Also, while the old 20% text rule no longer applies, it’s best to keep cover images visually oriented, as in this example from Geico, which places its iconic gecko mascot as the focal point sans any text whatsoever. (Remember the adage: A picture paints a thousand words. That certainly holds true here.)
2. Page Profile Picture
The page profile picture now sits squarely to the left of the cover image. When I say “squarely,” I mean that literally. Facebook now crops the image to 160X160 pixels on the desktop version. (It’s 128X128 on smartphones and 36X36 on feature phones.) That, too, may require that you make modifications to your previous profile image.
3. Page Tabs
Facebook now puts Page tabs (also referred to as “apps”) under the profile picture, increasing their visibility. Review the list and remove those that are no longer in use.
4. Like, Message, Share Buttons
Like, message, share and other actions are now located below the cover image.
5. Call-to-Action Button
Another notable change is the call-to-action button. It is now larger and, in red, more eye-catching. Button options include “Book Now,” “Contact Us,” “Shop Now,” “Learn More,” and a few others.
6. Business Categories
Business categories are more prominent and have moved below the call-to-action button. Star ratings appear underneath the category listing. Page admins can change the category by clicking the “Edit Page Info” button located just under the cover image.
7. Search Field
A search field lets users search posts on the page — a very helpful feature, especially for pages that publish a lot of content. It prevents the need for the endless scrolling we have become accustomed to when attempting to find a particular post.
8. About Section
The About section is now its own category and lives in the right-hand sidebar. It provides the page admin with the ability to include lots of information, such as a map showing the location, videos, business address and description, hours of operation, and more.
9. Highlighted Apps
Although Facebook places the list of apps in the left-hand column, it highlights three over on the right. These consist of apps added by the brand, not those native to Facebook (i.e., About, Reviews, Likes). On SmartBrief’s page, the three are “Signup for SmartBrief,” “About our Workplace”, and “Polls.”
An element that is conspicuous by its absence is advertising. Ads, which used to inhabit the right-hand column, are no more. According to the digital marketing blog MarketingLand, one reason was to make room for more business-centric page elements. Another was that the revenue Facebook earned from the ads was minimal, compared to mobile and newsfeed ads, making them expendable.
It’s safe to assume that Facebook may continue to make changes to Page layouts — and do so without letting admins know ahead of time. As such, keep a watchful eye on your page in the event such changes occur.
Paul Chaney is a staff writer for Small Business Trends where he covers industry news, services, and trends affecting small businesses. Formerly, he was editor of Web Marketing Today and a contributing editor for Practical Ecommerce.