Another Facebook Change To Come – They control the platform!
It is certain, that if you want to have control over your web presence, then you cannot depend on Facebook. Why, because it will always be changing and it has complete control over the interface, look, and user interaction. With the recent Facebook Personal Profile update, this gave business a first hand look at what is to come with their Pages for business.
Today, I noticed a Tweet come across citing that Facebook made an “accidental” update that allowed business to see what their Pages will look like with this new integration. Mashable.com has a complete write-up about the temporary release, and from this article…this is what I gather. The first thing I noticed, just like the new personal profiles, no Tabs. Yes, the tabs are gone moving the navigation to the left hand column. So those of you using the FBML application, it is definitely noticed with the FBML icon next to the Tab name. BLAH. Many organizations have spent tons of time and money working on the creation of their Tabs and the interface that is revealed once you click a Tab.
It also looks like you can “Login” to the Page which brings the questions about how Administrators will manage the page. Along with this, it looks like a “Lightbox” feature will be added to the photos area for a slick way to flip through pictures in a “Slide Show” mode.
Regardless of these updates, that either enhance the experience or change the design for businesses, it is proof that business do not have control over the platform. The platform was built to provide a place for people to connect and share with an interactive experience. But with this comes the same experience as a new update from Microsoft Windows, Office, or any of their other products. You receive the update and the whole interface changes. But the difference, you pay for those Microsoft updates where Facebook is a free, online experience for individuals and businesses to engage in a single platform.
Would businesses be willing to pay for an more “Enterprise” level experience with their Facebook presence? Considering how much they spend in other areas of their online marketing message, I would assume they would consider paying…given the audiences that are interacting within the platform. Imagine the opportunity to have control of some of the rich code to create a more interactive experience within the framework. The same idea as WordPress and Joomla yet inside a platform where audience already exist. But this “Enterprise” level system could swing the balance away from the community driven roots of Facebook. This could give marketing engines a more controlling atmosphere where the experience is more about the marketing message and not the community experience.
So bottom-line…if you are an organization and you want to have “control” over the platform that contains your brand and your message, Facebook should not be your only outlet. But, really…Facebook is not really a “Website” for a company. Facebook is a community driven platform and if used correctly, can engage and connect people of like minds. So who cares if they keep on changing it…the people will stay hang out as long as they can connect; and business will just have to deal with it.
All of this is hypothetical, because the real release has not been made yet!