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    Facebook Changes Means Better Branding

    Facebook announced the redesign of its Facebook Pages this month, as well as several other product updates.

    Facebook announced the redesign of its Facebook Pages this month, as well as several other product updates.

    The changes provide more power to sharers of information. So rather than putting the onus on people to filter out what they don’t care for, it empowers the creators of information (the sharers) to share what they think is most interesting -- in effect, turning them into "publishers."

    It also means that brands, formerly restricted to the limited-use realm of "Pages," now get to flex their muscles a bit. In Facebook’s words, they are "moving towards making people and pages the same type of thing."

    Marketers should be prepared for more control over the content of their brand profile and communication with "friends." Marketers will be in someone's social graph, just as a human being will, as well as publish directly to people’s home pages.

    “What’s interesting about these changes is that they make Facebook more like MySpace and Twitter. More like MySpace in the sense of brand profiles sharing existence in a person’s social graph, and more like Twitter in the form of subscriptions to and publishing of select content,” noted Deep Focus CEO Ian Schafer in a post on Advertising Age last week. “And both of those things carry ‘for better or worse’ caveats. Facebook will need to come down hard on abusers, and support the brands that are ‘doing it right.’ And users will need be trusted to use their filters wisely.”

    Schafer also noted that all of these changes by Facebook are designed to put more information into the "stream." The stream (a.k.a. the newsfeed, status updates, etc.) is what makes Facebook as engaging as it is. So much information will now be put into the stream that it will require filtering.

    Things to note:

    --Existing Facebook “Pages” will start to look/act/feel more like typical Facebook “Profiles.”
    --Brands pages will move from segregated areas of Facebook to within users' social graphs.
    --Information subscriptions will allow people to opt deeper into others' data streams.
    --A new “publisher” feature allows for selected broadcasting of information to those subscribers' Facebook home pages.
    --A new Facebook home page, with a general (real-time) news feed, but also filters to allow you to sort through information, friend lists, and apps, launches soon. You will also be able to share any type of content on the home page with your friends.

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