A few weeks ago there were some major changes with the layout of Facebook (more on the official Facebook blog). The change has been pretty unpopular with quite a lot of people, although I have to say I personally quite like the change of focus. Facebook is now far more focused on following the activities of your friends on your home page, in a similar way to Twitter (Facebook did try to buy Twitter earlier this year so it’s probably no coincidence that they are changing in this way).
At around the same time of the change, Facebook also changed its Facebook Pages, the section of Facebook for businesses and organisations, and rebranded it as Facebook Public Profiles. There’ve been a fair few teething problems including broken pages on IE for any page with opening hours included – thankfully others have been quick to raise the issues and share fixes (particular thanks to Edith Speller, @wiilassie on Twitter). Most of the issues seem to have been sorted now )or a fix found at least!).
The changes bring organisation pages more inline with personal pages, there has also been a change of focus for organisations – instead of the information page being the main feature of the page, the Wall is the default landing page (although this can be changed in Settings if you wish).
Facebook Public Profile layout
One of the main differences is that organisations can now update their status in a similar way to personal Facebook profiles. This means that fans can (if they agree to) view short updates on their homepage from public profiles they are interested in. If enabled, they can also see any new content which has been added (e.g. if a new photo album is added it should show up in their Public Profile feed).
Although this means that the page I administer for our Learning Centres needs work (previously it was a fairly static page), I view the change as a positive step. I’m currently awaiting feedback from management on where to go next with the Facebook project but ideally I’d love to see it being used in a more dynamic way. We have a lot happening in our Learning Centres and I’d like to use Facebook as a way to connect with our users and keep them up-to-date with developments (e.g. events, new databases, vacation opening hours etc.).
I’m pleased Facebook have made this change, it’s a challenge now for us to ensure that our presence on Facebook is worthwhile and although it still won’t require much time to update (it only takes seconds to change the status), I’m hoping it will remind me (and other admins) of the importance of keeping the content fresh. If I get approval, I’d like to ensure we have more fresh information on our page such as photographs, service/resource updates, possibly even discussions about any issues users have. Anyone else have any ideas of how to make the most of the new Public Profile on Facebook?