There has been quite a ruckus on Facebook over changes it made to the social networking site. A recent poll shows 94% of respondents giving the new Facebook the thumbs down. Personally, I don’t really care one way or the other about the new layout, but what I do care about is the functionality Facebook removed, functionality that was key to networking with friends and organizations.
Facebook finally gave churches, businesses, and other organizations the critically important ability to have updates, links, and photos appear in their “fans” news feeds, but now they seem to have severely diminished the capability for people to connect with those organizations.
Here are 5 things Facebook should fix that would really improve things for churches, ministries, and businesses.
1) Return Added Friends to News Feed
Facebook users – have you noticed that you are no longer getting notices in your news feed when one of your friends adds a new friend?
This was a key feature to Facebook’s explosive growth. Before, when I saw in my news feed that a friend of mine had added someone I know as a new friend, I could add them as a friend too. Someone new to Facebook could easily connect with 20-30 people they know on their very first day on Facebook. This is now gone.
While this may not seem like it would affect churches directly, if people new to Facebook don’t get connected to as many friends, they may stop using FB which would hinder churches and ministries from connecting with those people via Facebook.
I honestly can’t imagine why FB would make such a self-defeating change. They’d be smart to return added friends to the news feed right away.
2) Return Fan Notices to News Feed
Similarly, with the old Facebook if one of your friends became a “fan” of a business or organization that would appear in your news feed and give you the option of becoming a “fan” as well. This was how most people became “fans” of an organization. This feature is gone now as well. If Facebook wants organizations to be able to use Facebook effectively, this seems like a no-brainer.
3) Fix Problems with Old Facebook Pages and News Feeds
Facebook pages created before the March 13 changes are having problems getting their updates to appear in their fans news feeds. This is a big problem. As I wrote yesterday, I think I’ve found a trick to getting info from old Facebook Pages into news feeds, but FB should fix this so a solution is not necessary.
4) Put a Link to Facebook Pages on the Homepage
I don’t think FB could have made it more difficult to find the pages you’re already a fan of or find new pages if they had tried. I couldn’t find it myself and had to ask people.
To find the pages you’re a fan of you have to go to your profile, click the “info” tab, and scroll all the way to the bottom.
If you want to find other organizations’ pages, after you’ve scrolled down on the info tab, click the “see all” link to the far right of “Pages.” Then click the “Back to Pages” link. This will take you to the main Facebook Pages page which you can search for organizations.
There ought to be a link to pages right on the homepage along side groups, photos, links, etc.
5) Combine the org and “Just Fans” wall posts
Currently if you go to an organization’s Facebook page, you’ll notice the default view of the wall shows only things posted by the organization. Below the “Write something…” box you’ll see a tab for the organization and one labeled “Just Fans.” If you click just fans, you’ll see things posted by the organization’s “fans.”
Separating the organization’s posts from the fans’ posts hinders conversation between the org and its fans. These two should be combined by default with an option to view only the orgs posts or just fan posts.[EDIT 3/31 2:10 P.M.] Thanks to Daniel who posted a comment below explaining how to change the Page settings so the org + fans wall posts are displayed together.
What’s good for the goose…
It’s in Facebook’s best interest to make these changes. They want to become a (the?) primary means for businesses, churches, and other organizations to communicate with their “fans.” What’s good for organizations is good for Facebook.
What do you think? Should Facebook make these changes? How big a deal are they to you and your organization? Are there any other changes you think Facebook ought to make that would help your church, ministry, or business?