Facebook Fan Page layout is changing

In case you haven’t heard, Facebook announced they will soon change the layout of fan pages, so the width drops from 760 pixels wide to 520. Why? Good question.

The phrase they use, which I think is a bit suspect, is:

“These updates are designed to simplify navigation for users, reduce complexity for developers, and enable us to build the next generation of tools for growing your business with Facebook.”

Growing your business with Facebook? Can they really be planning something that would, for once, help all the people trying to advertise their businesses? It seems hard to believe. Facebook has always acted as though their users were sheep, and businesses were wolves come to eat them up.

Many of theirĀ decisionsĀ over the last couple years seem designed to restrict businesses: No phone support, draconian ad buy limitations, breaking technology… and how many businesses had to change their print materials to say, “Like” instead of, “Become our fan?”

The change in width is more likely clearing space for larger ads – so they really should have said they were building the next generation of tools, “for our business.” The increased width seems consistent with their plan to roll out video ads two years ago.

I hope I’m wrong, because this would actually be a deadly game of advertising creatives playing cat and mouse for all businesses, if their fan pages were running ads administered by Facebook. Can you imagine seeing Pepsi ads on the rail next to one of Coca-Cola’s fan page tabs?

I can’t believe Facebook would allow that, so “more ads” may not be it. So what could these, “improved tools” be that would require 240 pixels of width all their own? Perhaps a vertical navigation bar?

That would be something! Many companies have limited tab space. A vertical tab structure actually would make things easier for developers and businesses alike.

What do you think is going to go into this space?

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