Facebook made another potentially controversial announcement last week by limiting landing tab options for Facebook Pages to what they describe as “Authenticated Pages”. The requirements for being an “Authenticated Page” are either exceeding 10,000 Fans or getting the page approved by your Facebook Ads Account Manager. Of course to have an Ads Account Manager you must be running ads through their ad platform.
What this means for Facebook Page owners and administrators is that they can now only use the Wall or Info tabs as the default landing page for non-Fans unless they become authorized. This is a major blow to small business Pages on Facebook, as most will not be able to easily achieve 10,000 Fans, especially without being able to use a custom tab to explain the benefits of Liking the Page and enticing visitors to do so. Although I would consider the Wall to be the heart of a Facebook Page, a custom landing tab is an amazing way to introduce new users to your Page and stand out from the crowd by creating something unique and fun for your visitors.
Say goodbye to custom landing tabs for small business
It will be interesting to see the decisions that Facebook makes over the next few months and how these moves change their public perception. At this point the backlash against the dominant social network has been mostly within the tech savvy community, people who follow the F8 Conference are now the ones threatening to delete their accounts. General users, however, are probably in the dark about most of this. These issues may start to gain more mainstream attention, especially as major news outlets start covering them. Time Magazine will start the ball rolling by featuring a Facebook privacy piece as their cover story.
In my opinion, Facebook needs to tread carefully with those in the industry, avoiding changes like the new “Authenticated Pages” decision. The people who are going to be most frustrated about these type of changes are also going to be the most vocal, and Facebook should know better than anyone that backlash will spread like wildfire online.