When you access a Facebook Page via the Facebook mobile app these days, what you find now closely mirrors what you would see on the desktop version, rather than the previous version which lacked many of the features.
Facebook Page Features
You can now see the following Facebook Page features on a mobile device:
- Cover Image, with Page profile image and name directly underneath it
- Number of likes and talking about this metrics
- Page category
- Basic information from “About” page, which is clickable to About Page
- Indication of relationship with Page, with the ability to “like” and “unlike” page from here, along with adding or changing any interest lists you have this Page in
- Facebook in-built apps, such as Photos, Events and Likes, but not 3rd party developed Facebook Apps (yet?)
- The ability to write posts and upload pictures to the Page
- Post pinned to top of Page
- Friend activity
- Recent posts by others
- All posts on page, including the ability to Like and Comment on posts, with an indication of how many people have liked and commented on each post
It’s interesting to note that these changes have not been included in the Facebook Pages Manager App For iPhone layout as yet.
3rd Party Developed Custom Facebook Apps
3rd party developed Custom Facebook apps can provide a variety of benefits for business pages such as:
- Generating Likes through fan gating/like gating (e.g. reveal tabs with offers);
- Opt-in email subscriptions;
- Sales pages;
- RSS of blog;
- Meet our team:
- FAQ’s; and
- Many more
Using custom Facebook apps (that do one or a combination of the above things) as landing pages for Facebook ads has also been proven to achieve higher conversion, as it keeps users within the Facebook Platform. Therefore, custom apps should form an important part of a Facebook Business Page strategy. Or should they?
However, one of the biggest drawbacks of custom apps is that they cannot be displayed on mobile devices. It doesn’t look great when you put a link to one of your apps in your status update, directing your fans to the app only to have the link fail on a mobile device with no explanation (so it looks like your fail). Whilst apps not working on mobile devices have to do with a host of programming reasons around the apps themselves, one other limitation was the fact that there were no tabs to click on to access them from the mobile version of Pages themselves. With this new layout, this no longer seems to be an issue. The way they are displaying three apps across the screen now, it looks like it could be possible to stack additional rows of apps. Another three rows would fit the maximum allowable number of 12 apps per Page just perfectly.
Therefore I ask: Is this facelift a step toward making 3rd party developed custom Facebook apps visible on mobile devices? And if so, what needs to be done now to make the programming of custom apps for mobile devices possible. And how far off is this likely to be? I for one hope to see custom Facebook page custom apps working on mobile devices in the not-to-distant future.