Happy New Year! Facebook saw a lot of changes in 2020, and it’s not stopped as we head into 2021. This week they have annouced some fairly big changes to the Facebook Business Pages, which they’re calling the New Pages Experience.

First important point – at the moment it is optional to switch between the Classic Business Page and the New Page Experience, much like it was to use the ‘New’ Facebook in 2020 until they forced the change in September.

Second important point – everyone is talking about the Likes being removed, but we definitely don’t feel that’s the most important, or surprising change. Let’s take a look:

What’s new?

  • Let’s talk about the Likes first – yes, Facebook are removing Likes. However, for many years on your business page you will have noticed you have Likes and Followers. Clients have often asked what the difference is, and in short, a person can Like your page, but not follow you. This mean they don’t see any of your content when you post, but you can still count them in the Like number. So for a while we’ve been saying – concentrate more on the followers and engagement, and less on the figures of who is liking your page. Facebook agrees, and they know that engagement is key, and vanity metrics like the Like button, are almost redundant now. So, goodbye Likes, hello Followers.
  • Facebook will be making it easier for you to switch between your personal profile and your business page – can’t wait to see how this works!
  • Here’s a big change we’re really excited for – dedicated news feeds for your business page. Now, oddly enough, around 10 years ago this was a thing, your page could follow and like others and then you could scroll that feed and interact with only those pages. Makes a huge difference to your personal news feed, if you don’t need to follow pages your business interacts with. You can do this now to an extent, but we’re personally really glad to see this feature come back. Over 2020, it was one of the elements that really lacked for us on Facebook, we want to interact with our clients and suppliers, and Instagram and Twitter just made it so much easier.
  • Facebook are apparently going to roll out improvements to the Insights, to better help us understand our audience and how well our content performs – we’re looking forward to digesting these!
  • New page roles – or rather, updated page management – no more on this one off Facebook so we’re be keeping an eye on this.
  • A new, shiny, easy layout – apparently! We’ll have to wait and see on that one.

Everything else is pretty much staying the same… so let’s look at what we’re going to lose. This is where we’re a bit surprised everyone is getting so excited about the Likes going, there are some key things vanishing here…!

Say goodbye to…

  • Classic page roles, as we said above, there’s no more information yet but as soon as we know, we’ll post about it!
  • Publishing tools are also set to go – now we have mentioned this a lot in the past couple of months during webinars and social media consultations. We really did feel that Facebook was putting a lot of effort into Creator Studio and Kerry’s pretty chuffed that her gut was right. Facebook say that Notes, pinned posts, scheduled posts and cross posting are all going. All that remains is to see how Creator Studio and Business Manager fill the gap.
  • There are some *fairly useful* features also going according to the Facebook post – jobs, appointments, offers and Marketplace listings. Is something coming in its place? Who knows!
  • And finally, goodbye to some other Classic Page features – reviews (which have been called recommendations for a while, so are these sticking around?), check-ins and page templates.

So, it’s a huge change. We need to completely rewrite our Facebook webinars but rest assured, we’re off right now to make the switch on one of our pages so we can learn the new ways of working as quickly as possible.