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New Facebook page layout has ruined my fan base!

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about a successful little campaign using Facebook pages, which I think is the best post I’ve read about Facebook pages- you should read it;-)

Then last week, as Jennie reported in this post, Facebook went and gave their Pages a redesign, around the same time they rolled out a new profile page design which led to comments on the Facebook blog such as these-

“Dear Facebook,
I used to love you, but now I have to go, you’re ugly now, and bloated with useless information, I’m embarrassed to be seen with you in public. In fact to even mention that i ever liked you is repulsive to me, a reproach on my on sanity. You were fun once. I used to log on 10-20 times a day, yesterday I got on once, in the hope that you would change…but i know better…the only person i can change is me…”

To be fair to Facebook they get this kind of reaction whenever they do a redesign.

Anyway since the new Facebook Pages (business pages) were launched on the 11th March the number of new fans my page has been getting has dropped from about 80-100 to under 20. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Check out the stats…

facebook-page-old-vs-new.jpg

You can literally see the new fan numbers drop as Facebook flick the switch on the new page layout on March 11th.

Whats the problem with the new pages?

I have a couple of theories why the new layout is stopping people becoming fans.

Where’s the button gone?

The first thing I noticed with the new layout was the big button in the right column which said something like ‘become a fan‘ (sorry couldn’t find a screenshot) has been replaced with a little link under the profile image on the left and another little link next to the page name. I say bring back the button!

new-facebook-buttons.jpg

News feeds

I spoke in my previous post about how the Facebook snowball viral effect happens when people become your fan and an announcement is made in their news feed, meaning all their friends will see it.

old facebook page in news feed

The old news feed had a big chunky announcement including an image. On the new look news feed the announcement is tiny with no image. Also photo’s and status changes have become more prominent on the feed at the same time meaning the Page announcement is battling for attention, and losing.

new-facebook-feed-page.jpg

What to do?

What can we do about this change? As yet I’m not sure. Apparently Page updates will start appearing in news streams ‘soon’, this should increase the exposure opportunities for your page. Also pages seem to be showing up in the ‘highlights’ boxes in the right hand side of the homepage now although this is the main Facebook ad position so I expect this position will suffer from banner blindness.

But in terms of converting views on your page into fans I’ve come up with a crude solution to fix Facebook’s usability issues! The ‘become a fan’ link is right below the profile image on the new layout so just include your call to action in the picture…

facebook-i-love-ibiza_1237381590246.png

I’ll do an update and let you know if this improves my new fan rate.

Has anyone else noticed their new fans dropping since the 11th March update?

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10 Comments
  • Lyndon Antcliff on March 19, 2009

    What’s with the teeny tiny text size?

    I know I am getting old but c’mon guys, boost it a little.

  • John on March 20, 2009

    @lyndon -that better for you?

  • john on March 22, 2009

    Killed my growth as well. I will try your idea.

  • Cory Schop on March 24, 2009

    Hey GREAT post! I really like how you analyzed things and the outcome. Your clever solution is very smart too! I will have to check my fan page and see if I have similar results. So they got this part wrong by reducing the exposure. I do like one change that came with the new layout. Did you see on the homepage now how you can filter your friend Facebook status by using the Friend lists. I thought that was pretty neat. Thanks for a great post and I will be reading more of your articles!

  • Claudius on March 25, 2009

    Yeah, the same thing happened to my fan page – dropped from 1000 new fans/day to around 200. But it finally is rising again to around 700 after people are getting used to the new design.

  • Recipes for Simplicity on April 9, 2009

    Thank you, I’ve implemented a similar arrow in the link above and I’m waiting for results.

  • Saud on May 12, 2009

    my fan base growth also dropped considerably, i think it is to encourage people to advertise to increase their page fans, i believe it was definitely intentional on facebooks part.

  • Susan on November 18, 2009

    I created my facebook page after all the changes, and then created my fan page. The only kicker is that it does not show up, and no one gets my “Suggest to Friends” contact. I am marked as published. I am finding that there are a lot of others having this same problem. What’s the deal? Can anyone help me or suggest something to try?

  • admin on November 19, 2009

    @susan, whats the address of your page?

  • Socialstacy on March 15, 2010

    I think that whenever facebook changes the design of their site, people are never satisfied so maybe they should just stop! I’m annoyed as much as you are. I was really sick of my bland, standard, blue and white layout so I found a very legitimate site that allows you to have layouts on your facebook page. It’s called Pagerage and it is so cool. Lot’s of layouts to choose from, tasteful layouts and the download was pretty easy. Highly recommended.

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