After implementing timeline for fan pages Facebook has yet again changed the playing field in the way that brands interact with customers through their branded Facebook fan pages.
The ability to set a default landing tab will affect retailers who are using fan page apps such as Payvment and ShopTab in order to sell directly from their pages.
Small to medium sized retailers, who have already had little luck selling in Facebook with little, if any, marketing budgets will be hit the hardest by this move. As reported a little while ago by CommerceOnFacebook, it will be the enterprise solutions of retail applications who will benefit the most from this change.
Companies such as 8th Bridge, ShopIgniter and Sortal who offer both customized solutions and the correct tools for successful marketing will now pull away from the crowd. ‘Off the shelf’ solutions which rely on the merchant to find their own marketing success, will see a continued decline in signups and subscription cancellations. Smaller storefront providers will probably begin to shut their own doors or change their Facebook applications completely.
Due to the most recent changes, not only the ability to set the default landing tab has changed. The size of the canvas has increased which means that subscription based storefront providers will need to move fast to keep up with the development changes.
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Fan pages will have the same timeline format as personal pages. The picture at the top of the screen displayed on the default landing tab will not have the ability to link anywhere, display pricing information or have any clickable call to action. Developers of fan page storefront applications must now offer retail customers solutions which entice shoppers to enter the storefront. This is yet another click away from the reach of customers, who have already displayed a lack of interest in shopping on Facebook.
Below is the new layout of the Walmart Facebook fan page after the switch to the new timeline.