Facebook has been making a lot of changes lately. They changed the name of their company to “Meta”. (This is now the parent company for platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.) They announced a new company mission: “To transition from being a social media company to being a metaverse company.” And they are also rolling out changes to the way Facebook Pages work. They are calling the new page format the “New Pages Experience.”
The New Pages Experience was announced in 2020 but has still not been widely rolled out at the time of this writing (in November of 2021). Over the past year, many of us have seen glimpses of it, which often caused severe confusion. I had an experience that threw me off quite a bit while I was trying to help a client with their business presence. I couldn’t understand why they had the option to “switch profile” between their personal account and business Page. That made no sense to me at the time.
Anyway, here is a list of changes to Facebook Pages with the New Pages Experience. If you haven’t been switched yet, I would imagine that you will be sometime soon.
No more Page “Likes”
That’s right, instead of acquiring “Likes” from visitors of a Page, Page owners will now hope to acquire “Follows”. The function of following a Page has been around for quite a while – as a distinct action from Liking. For example, you could Like a Page but not Follow it, or you could Follow a Page but not like it. If you followed a Page, that meant that you were interested in seeing posts from that Page in your News Feed. Apparently now, Facebook decided to simplify things by getting rid of Likes. In the new format, you simply choose to Follow a Page if you are interested in seeing content from that Page. In my opinion, this makes sense. It seems too complicated to have the functions of both Likes and Follows.
What content will transfer when the change happens?
You can expect all of your Page content to transfer automatically when the New Pages Experience kicks in, such as posts, photos, videos, and stories. Groups that your Page is an admin of will also transfer automatically. If your Page has a blue verification check, that will also transfer. (Facebook warns that some stories might not transfer; your contact information might not transfer, and your bio might need to be made shorter.)
Will all Page followers transfer when the change happens?
All of your Page Followers will transfer when the New Pages Experience kicks in. However, those who Liked your Page but were not Following will not transfer.
A new way to switch to your Page (and back)
Easy-switching will be a convenient feature in the New Pages Experience. To open your Page on a desktop computer, go to your home page and click on your profile picture in the top right. Then select “Switch Profile” and select the Page. You will then use Facebook as your business Page rather than your personal profile. (Use the same process to switch back to using Facebook as your profile.)
To open your Page on a mobile device, long-press on your profile picture in the bottom right of the Facebook app. (Use the same process to switch back to using Facebook as your profile.)
Sharing access to your Page
In the old configuration for Pages, you could grant access with a feature called “Page Roles.” This feature is not part of the New Pages Experience. However, there is a new system for granting access. In short, there are two kinds of access: Page access and task access. Page access means a person is granted access to take actions on the Page itself. Task access means a person is granted access to take actions through other tools and not the actual Page. Other tools might include Ads Manager, Facebook Business Suite, and Creator Studio.
Anyone who was not previously an admin or editor on the Page (such as moderator or advertiser) will have task access to the Page once the New Pages Experience kicks in.
The system of reviews on Facebook changed a while back from having star ratings to simply being called “Recommendations”, so this is not entirely new. What’s new is that the tab will now be renamed “Recommendations” instead of “Reviews,” and apparently, old reviews with star ratings will no longer be visible as they have been. Also, recommendations will now be required to be at least 25 characters in length.
Page News Feed
Facebook loves to keep users reading feeds because it creates more opportunities for ads to be placed. For the New Pages Experience, Facebook decided to include a News Feed for each Facebook Page. So, let’s say a cabinet maker has a Facebook business Page. He or she can decide to follow notable people and pages in their field to keep up with the times. They need only to check their Page’s News Feed.
In my opinion, the new Business Suite interface for Facebook Pages is a much-needed addition. When I realized the way Business Suite is designed to be a user-friendly dashboard, it occurred to me how sorely lacking Facebook Pages have been without it. After studying it a short while, my sense was that the idea came from Google My Business, which has a similar interface for business owners. Although Business Suite is part of the New Pages Experience, it has already been widely rolled out – accessible from your traditional Facebook Page.
When you look at the Business Suite interface, you’ll see easy access to the things you do most often for your business, such as creating and scheduling posts, replying to messages, and advertising.
Also, Business Suite is designed to help you administer multiple platforms at once, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger.
Business Suite comes in mobile app form for iPhone and Android, so Page management can be done on the go.
Creator Studio is a tool to help business owners post, manage, monetize, and track the performance of content across Facebook Pages and Instagram accounts. It has some overlapping features with Business Suite, such as the ability to schedule posts and see insights, but it is intended to be more robust in the area of content creation and management.
Some things you can do in Creator Studio include: build playlists of your video content, run tests of Facebook posts to see which perform better, and see statistics on previously published posts,
So, what’s going away?
Some of these have been mentioned already, but here is a list of features and functions that will not be part of the New Pages Experience:
- Publishing Tools (now use Creator Studio)
- Page Likes (now only Follows)
- Page Roles (access levels will be categorized by “Facebook access” or “Task access”)
- Reviews (now Recommendations only – no stars)
- Page templates
- Page management over mobile web browsers (You will be able to manage your Page from the Facebook mobile app or Business Suite app but not a mobile web browser.)