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2/11/2011
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Facebook Pages Redesign Adds Administrator Features

The update, mandatory in early March, mirrors recent changes to individual profiles and includes admin notifications when fans interact with or post comments to a page.

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Facebook on Thursday launched redesigned pages that more closely mirror its recently revamped profiles, with newly added features and capabilities.

Unlike individual-oriented Facebook profiles, pages are designed for businesses, brands, public figures, and organizations, and administrators typically oversee their day-to-day operation.

In a message sent to administrators on Feb. 10, Facebook offered pages owners the opportunity to preview and upgrade early to the new format. But the company will enact mandatory upgrades in a month, it said.

"All pages will automatically be upgraded on March 10," the email said.

Like the recently updated profiles format, Facebook's new pages will include the row of five photos at the top of the page, a navigation menu on the left, and activities from other pages on the news feed. With the "everyone" feature, page administrators can choose to highlight items as top wall posts, giving them more flexibility about shining a spotlight on particular news. And the update includes a method for page fans to discover the friends and interests they have in common with specific pages, Facebook said in a blog post.

One of the new features capturing the most online buzz is a set of features that lets administrators interact with Facebook via the page's identity. By selecting the "Use Facebook as a Page" option in the account section, administrators will be able to get notifications when fans interact with or post comments to a page; see activity in their newsfeed from pages they like; like other pages and feature them on the brand's page; and make comments as their page on other pages, according to Facebook.

"This means you can choose to receive notifications about fan activity, Like, and comment on other Pages as your Page, and get your own News Feed where you can engage with the latest and most important news from other Pages you like," said Facebook, in its blog.

Administrators can switch between speaking as the page's brand and as an individual. A box shows the brand and an option to comment under the administrator's own name.

Facebook, which plans to roll out additional changes to pages in upcoming months, made these alterations in response to user requests for improved methods to keep up with page activities, the company said.

Under the new design, Facebook dropped the familiar tabs format, moving instead to small links under the profile pictures. Based on a review of 1,000 comments posted in response to Facebook's blog early Friday morning, this step was unpopular with many administrators. Other administrators disliked Facebook's step away from chronological order.

"Stop deciding what you think is interesting on my page. ... I want [chronological] order back for everyone and to know when someone posts on my page. ... I don't have time to spend hours on here," posted Sherree Ross. "It's becoming more time consuming and cumbersome to run my business using my pages."

Added Bluebird Muse: "I want the posts on my fan page to be in chronological order. I run a music review website and Facebook decided that Aretha Franklin was more 'popular and interesting' than Ella Fitzgerald, when their songs were supposed to be posted as back to back covers. Poor Ella was booted six posts down. Our posts on Gary Moore who recently died were shoved to the bottom of the page behind new album releases. Facebook, what are you doing?? We need chronological order, please!!" posted Bluebird Muse.

Some administrators praised the new look, although it could take time for users to get acclimated to the new look and feel, said online-commenter Jimmie Malone.

"I like the new features. I wasn't sure about moving the tabs to a menu on the left but I'm sure once everyone is used to that layout the tabs won't even be missed. Being able to post on other pages as my page is a neat feature, and I love the addition of the 5 pics at the top of the wall matching profile pages," he said. "However, I have to agree with everyone on messing with the post order. Chronological is the only way to give us some control over what is being seen on our wall. Important posts are now buried in favor of what FB deems interesting? To whom?"

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