Facebook Pages Redesign 2011: What you need to know

Today Facebook rolled out a redesign of Facebook Pages, which act as profiles for businesses, organizations, public figures and celebrities.  Facebook explained the Facebook Pages redesign on its blog this afternoon.

Admins of Facebook Pages can preview how their redesigned page will look. Admins have the choice to switch to the new design until March 10. After that, Facebook will update every page to the new design, according to Mashable. Here’s what you need to know:

New layout

The most obvious change in Facebook Pages design is the layout. The new Facebook Page looks just like a user’s standard profile, which has pluses and minuses.

A major plus for brands is that their Facebook Pages will no longer stand out–this could incline users to interact with Facebook Pages like they do with their friends’ profiles pages.

Another plus is that brands who already have a lot of photos can now showcase them. In fact, brands can now “hack” the design of their Facebook Pages to create an image that runs across the top of the entire page. For examples, check out this gallery of creatively hacked Facebook profile pages.

A major minus is that the old tabbing system at the top of Facebook Pages has been removed.  Now all applications are located on the left sidebar, just like on a Facebook profile page.  In this location, it will be much harder for brands to promote contests, upcoming events and the like. One has to wonder if Facebook did this intentionally.

A news feed for the wall

However, changes to the wall of a Facebook Page are excellent. Previously, admins and fans had to manually make posts the wall of a Facebook page. Under the new design, admins can select a filter called “everyone” that automatically displays fans’ most popular posts, according to InsideFacebook.com.

If selected, this filter will build a sense of community on a Facebook Page. It will also take significant stress off of admins who worried about keeping their Facebook Pages fresh and engaging.

Log in as your Facebook Page

The third–and perhaps most significant change–is that brands can now interact across Facebook as their brand. Admins of Facebook Pages now have the option to login as their individual selves or as their brand.

For example, I could log in as 435 Digital and start commenting on other pages as 435 Digital the brand. What’s more,  I can “like” other pages on behalf of 435 Digital. Back on the 435 Digital brand page, you’ll be able to see in the left sidebar what pages 435 Digital has “liked. This is a great development because it helps brands to further develop the sense of community on their Facebook Pages.

What are your thoughts on the new Facebook Pages redesign? Are you a fan? (Sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves).