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How Facebook Changes May Affect Your Small Business’s Page or Profile

How Facebook Changes May Affect Your Small Business’s Page or Profile

By smallbiztrends, Guest Blogger
Published: October 6, 2011 Updated: January 27, 2016

 

Any time a well-known social site changes,  we’ve come to expect an immediate backlash against the changes.  Facebook, the mega social networking site, is no exception*, as USA Today reports. 

In September 2011, Facebook unveiled upcoming changes to its site.  Those changes include an image-intensive new layout for personal profile pages, a scrolling status ticker of your friends on the right column of the page, and a feature called “Timeline” that will let you display images from your entire life.  And those are just some of the changes. 

Earlier, Facebook had announced other changes that would be taking place this fall.  One of those changes could dramatically affect small businesses with custom Facebook Pages.  As of October 1, 2011 all custom-designed Facebook tabs (such as a custom landing tab on your company Facebook Page) that serve content from third party sites, must use secure socket layer (SSL) hosting.  This is a complication and expense that many small businesses had not anticipated.  It caught many unaware.

You might ask, “Will these changes cause people to cool toward Facebook ?”  I think the short term answer is “no.”  There are plenty of examples of sites that make changes, and you read media reports about how users dislike the changes.   I’ve lived through a decade of eBay sellers (and buyers)  complaining whenever eBay changed anything.  Yet eBay still appears successful and thriving.

Some of this is just resistance to change.  Let’s face it – most of us don’t like change if it involves a learning curve.  But as people become more accustomed to the new look and features of Facebook, some of those same people complaining today will get used to the changes and accept them.  Some will even embrace the changes once they see the advantages.

As for the longer term impact, it may be a different story.  Too many changes that come too fast can backfire, especially with small businesses.  Most of us don’t have time to drop everything to learn about changes we have to comply with.  And while Facebook (and other sites) may announce them on their company blogs, this assumes small business owners and staff have the time to monitor all the change announcements of all the social sites they use.  Most of us do not.  It doesn’t take too many rude surprises or rapid change cycles before a site becomes too time consuming to deal with.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t heard much about these changes that are either already underway or about to be implemented, it’s time to investigate them if you use Facebook for your business.  Better to be knowledgeable and not caught unaware.  Here are some articles with good summaries of individual changes:

Tell Your Story with Timeline* (Facebook company blog)

Introducing the Subscribe Button* (Facebook company blog)

Handy Summary of Facebook’s F8 Conference* ( Graham Creative blog)

Facebook Fan Pages SSL Deadline Approaches* (Penny’s DIY Social Media)

How to Move Your Facebook Tabs to Secure Hosting Required by Facebook* (Social Media Examiner)

Platform Updates: Operation Developer Love* (Facebook Developer Blog)

*Directs to a non-government website

About the Author:

smallbiztrends
Anita Campbell

Guest Blogger

My name is Anita Campbell. I run online communities and information websites reaching over 6 million small business owners, stakeholders and entrepreneurs annually, including Small Business Trends, a daily publication about small business issues, and BizSugar.com, a small business social media site.