Some people aren’t too happy with the Pages redesign and the switch to iFrames, but it’s here to stay, so let’s see how we can use it to our advantage.  After a few days to test and understand the changes, I honestly think it’s for the better. Below, I’m going to take you through some of the new changes, what they mean, and how you can use them.

1. The tabs have moved from the top of the Page and are now on the left, below your profile picture. This causes a little more thought to be put into page navigation, but that’s not totally a downgrade. It has however, made tabs somewhat less visible (probably because most people aren’t used to the change). I suggest going away from using a vertical rectangle layout with your and instead going to a square layout, 180 pixels x 180 pixels or so to start. This will allow you to position your tab links more towards the top of your Page, which will make them more apparent and give them a higher chance of being clicked on. You can reorder your sections in the navigation so they can appear in order of importance, which is definitely handy. Simply click “more” then “edit”, then you’re able to click and drag. Wall and Info still keep their top spot, but you can reorder some of your other tabs accordingly.

2. As you’ve probably noticed, they changed the top of your profile to include the “photostrip” with the 5 most recently tagged pictures. This is the same for your Pages, except the five most recently uploaded/tagged pictures will appear in the photostrip in a random order. I like this change a lot because it provides the opportunity to be really creative with your pages. So, take advantage of your photos. The randomness prevents you from turning the photostrip into a banner like on the profiles, but you can still use the photos as tools to promote your business. For example, we took this opportunity to use a nice little slot machine layout to fit in with our Reno NV location.

Currently, we have our strip set up with 5 different “icons” which, when viewed in the photo viewer, explain a specific feature of ShortStack and include a link to the website. This is just one of many ways to play around with the photostrip to make your page more unique, informative, and fun.

3. Another nice change that Facebook rolled out is the ability to easily change your tab labels within Facebook. So all those apps you have on the left side of your page, even 3rd party apps, can be changed now.  All you need to do is go to “edit page” then click “apps” find the one you want to rename, and click “edit settings” and you will have custom tab labels in less than a minute. This is a great way to simplify the side of your page and let your fans easily find exactly what they’re looking for on your page. We even made a handy video tutorial so you can see exactly how to do it.

4. Now that you renamed your tab labels, I imagine you’re saying “I wish I could change those ugly grey gear icons by the tab too.” Well, I’m glad you’re saying that, because now you can change those icons into anything that you want. However, If your Page is using the old Static FBML then you are stuck with the <-> logo, but if you are using custom apps (like ShortStack…hint, hint) or an app that you created yourself, then you can quickly upload an image to use as your tab icon. Remember that the icons are only 16×16, so keep your designs simple! As you can see though, this makes your tabs a lot more engaging and gives your page some eye catching additions. Play around with it and find some sweet new icons.

5. Something that’s been kind of an annoyance is the inability to post on your page as yourself and always having to post as your Page. With the change though, you can post on your page as yourself, which I think is great. If you agree, you may want to click that “edit page” button, go into “your settings” and make a few edits to “posting preferences” and “email notifications”. If you enable the posting preferences box then you will always post as your page so people won’t get confused when some random person is talking to them. You can also enable notifications to be sent to your email. If you want to change what notifications are sent then click the blue link and you will be redirected to a page that will tell you your Pages notification preferences. This is handy because it gives you the opportunity to post as yourself and help your fans by showing them the face behind the page. Or you could always keep it all Bruce Wayne like and simply make some comments and ask some questions to get input from your fans.

6. Now the big one. This is going to get a little lengthy, but that’s because this is one of the bigger changes being made to Facebook, at least on the development side. The switch from static FBML to iFrames..

1: Explanation

March 11, 2011

Remember back near the end of 1999, when the Y2K craze had everyone in a panic, ready for their computers to blow up the world to shut down? Well, that’s where some people are at with the announcement of Facebook switching to iFrames in a few weeks.

First off, let’s talk about what the change means. Facebook isn’t allowing any more applications to be created using FBML, this doesn’t mean that anything created in FBML is going to just disappear or start malfunctioning. Facebook is going to keep supporting existing installs, and their custom tabs, as well as allow admins to keep editing said tabs and applications. However, they are asking everyone to start to move their custom tabs to iFrames since they’re going to slowly phase out FBML. No definite word on when they’re going to fully eliminate FBML, but it’s a wise idea to start working solely with iFrames.

Now, some of the concern about the switch is the fact that admins never really needed a lot of coding experience in order to create tabs with Static FBML, since there were so many tutorials and templates available to help create custom tabs. iFrames is a bit more complex, and you need to know more about iFrames and HTML.

When you create an app from scratch using iFrames, you need to code it, and then install it to a server, and then you can start using CSS and HTML and all that jazz to build your page content. Unless of course, you’re using a third party service that allows you to create custom Facebook tabs easily (e.g., ShortStack)

Lesson to take away:

Don’t fear the change. Embrace it. It’s all about rolling with the punches.