Facebook launched Facebook Ads in November 2007 to give brands and businesses a way to create a presence on Facebook and interact with users. Starting next week, says a source with knowledge of the new product, those pages will be substantially redesigned.
Today there are countless pages (example) that highlight brands. These pages are free to set up, and the Facebook sales team then encourages those brands to buy Facebook ads that point back to the pages. The brands get users who become fans of the page and maybe leave a wall comment. Facebook gets ad dollars, and users never leave the Facebook site.
Those pages include standard Facebook features like a Wall for user comments, a News Feed showing changes and updates to the page, and places for photos and videos to be uploaded. Many advertisers also spend a great deal of money customize the page with applications and widgets showing off various products as well.
Look for a much more streamlined look to Facebook Pages next week though, with a multitab interface very similar to what Facebook launched to users in 2008. The default view will show the Wall (which may include negative comments unless they are routinely deleted). All the custom apps will be pushed to a second Boxes tab. The Pages will also likely mirror the look of normal user profiles, with an image in the top left corner, etc.
The Facebook sales team is soft selling the concept to advertisers now, some of whom aren’t pleased with the changes, we’ve heard. Many of these advertisers have spent significant money designing the pages, and lots more on top advertising the Pages through Facebook. Now the Pages will be changed. Users may love the changes and interact more with the pages. Or they may not. As usual with changes at Facebook, people (in this case advertisers) will scream bloody murder, and then likely settle down.
The timing on the change doesn’t seem to be a coincidence – MySpace recently announced that they’ll be launching their own business profile product in the near future. As with last year’s stacked announcements on data sorta-portability, both companies want to be first with new products and features.