New Facebook Pages: Beyond the Bells and Whistles

Late last week, Facebook rolled out redesigned Pages. We knew it was coming. There had long been talk of Page tabs disappearing, as well as the ability to use Facebook as a Page and more. Inside Facebook provides a detailed overview of the updates. Mike Petroff also gives a great summary of the initial impact on Page admins at eduGuru.

Initially, I was thrilled with the update. When I got into the day-to-day use of the new format, however, I found there are easily as many drawbacks as benefits.



  • The ability to “Use Facebook as a Page” allows admins the luxury of receiving notifications of Page activity. These notifications appear in the top toolbar just like an individual’s personal notifications. When using Facebook as your Page, you can see how many new “likes” your Page has, what comments have been posted, etc. In addition, admins can receive email notifications of this activity. Finally! No more late nights spent monitoring the UM-Flint Facebook Wall just in case there’s a comment posted.
  • While using Facebook as a Page, admins’ News Feeds will now include updates from the Pages that have been added as favorites. For example, the UM-Flint College of Arts and Sciences Page has been added as a favorite to the UM-Flint Page, as well as numerous other departments on campus. Now, I can start each day with a News Feed featuring recent updates from all departments instead of checking each Page individually. Huge time-saver.
  • Now that there is an option to use Facebook as a Page, admins can choose to be active as the Page or as the individual. This means that Pages like UM-Flint can now comment, like, and share. It also means that admins can comment on their pages as themselves.


  • It’s a good thing that Page admins can receive email notifications of activity. With the upgrade, users’ view of the Page Wall is determined by Facebook’s whim. Or so it seems. Facebook now uses an algorithm to decide which posts are most “engaging” when displaying a Page’s Wall to a user. Also, posts made by a user’s friends or network are weighted more heavily. As a result, every single Facebook user may see something different when they visit a Page–unless the Page is set to show only its own posts. All other posts get buried in the “Everyone” side of the Wall, according to the engagement algorithm.
  • So far, it seems the solution to our Wall confusion is to set the UM-Flint Page to show its own posts by default. I’m torn about this. Making it difficult for users to find posts by others doesn’t feel very social to me. And this is supposed to be social media, yes? However, setting the Wall to “Everyone” won’t necessarily make it easy for users to see other’s posts, either. I’m hoping that this is something that will be remedied. We’ve always encouraged student groups and others to share messages though the UM-Flint Facebook Page. It seems this could be quite difficult for them now.
  • When switching over to use Facebook as a Page, make sure you click that “switch” button instead of the name of the Page you want to use. Otherwise, you’ll just visit your Page and not actually switch over. I recommend that you make sure you’re acting as yourself or your page before leaving comments, etc. You just might leave a comment as yourself when you meant to do so as your Page, or vice versa.

Overall, I think Facebook is heading in a good direction. Providing all of these new options for Page admins is a hugely appreciated step. I, for one, will be anxiously waiting to see what comes next. The one constant with Facebook is that it’s always changing, and surely this won’t be the last round of updates we see.