Facebook Creates, Removes Restriction on Landing Page Tabs

In an unannounced move yesterday, Facebook began requiring Page owners to have at least 10,000 fans or pay at least $25,000 in advertising in order to set application tabs as landing pages. But now it has reverted to letting anyone set a tab as a landing page, following widespread dissent.

[Update: A new statement on the change, from Facebook:

As of last night, we've removed the recently-added authentication requirement for setting custom landing tabs on Pages. The requirement was instituted as part of a Pages quality initiative, and we apologize for the inconvenience this caused to our developer and business community. We are re-investigating the situation, and will not make any further changes without first giving our community standard notice and lead-time.]

Pages are used by businesses large and small to reach Facebook users, and come with a variety of customizable features. Page owners can set application tabs to appear when a user first goes to the Page URL, a key way to promote sales or marketing campaigns to visitors.

BrandGlue‘s Jeff Widman quantifies the effect:

We ran an A/B test just four weeks ago to guesstimate the efficacy of a landing tab.  We drove visitors to the fan page of a major brand using ads. Those ad-driven visitors converted to fans at a rate of approximately 47% WITH a landing tab. When we turned off the landing tab, those same ad-driven visitors converted to fans at approximately 23%. A VERY noticeable loss in conversions over the course of the campaign.

Why did Facebook add the landing page restrictions change in the first place? Some have speculated that one motive may have been to force small Page owners to pay for advertising — but this would be a nonsensical rationale for Facebook to have, because many small businesses who use Pages wouldn’t be able to pay the amount anyway. The move actually encourages them to use Pages less.

The limitations Facebook added were more likely meant as barriers to preclude spammers and scammers from setting up their own tabs filled with low-quality or misleading content. We’ve seen an increase lately in activity amongst spammers using Page app landing tabs to mislead users into spamming their friends or fork over personal information.

In any case, the outcry of many Page owners and Page management companies seems to have prompted a quick reversion by Facebook, although the company hasn’t said much about what’s going on. Here’s its now-dated message to concerned people in its developer forum, from yesterday:

We apologize for not messaging this earlier. Facebook recently made a change requiring that Pages be authenticated before enabling the ability to set a landing tab beyond Wall or Info. To be eligible for authentication, a Page must have greater than 10k fans or the Page admin must work with their ads account manager. If you are already working with an account representative, please contact that representative to begin the authentication process. If you do not work with an account representative, you can use this contact form to inquire about working with an account representative.

Also, for advertisers who don’t have a representative or 10k fans, and want to run ads and land users on a specific tab, you can still do so with standard Facebook ads by making their Destination URL as the URL incl. your tab.  Unfortunately, this currently will not work with “Fan”  ads.

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33 Responses to “Facebook Creates, Removes Restriction on Landing Page Tabs”

  1. “Džiugios“ ketvirtadienio žinios puslapiams iki 10000 fanų apie pasikeičiančias WELCOME TAB naudojimo taisykles | Komunikacija FACEBOOK'e says:

    [...] Facebook’as atšaukė vakar išplatintą informaciją…. [...]

  2. Default Landing Tabs Back – Facebook Apologizes | MariSmith.com says:

    [...] of 10,000 fans… in less than 24 hours, Facebook has changed the new “rule” back [...]

  3. FaceItPages says:

    This is great news… many people were surprised, confused, and upset by the move yesterday. Kudos to Facebook for acting swiftly in response to the outcry from the developer and business community who use pages as an integral part of their marketing plan.

  4. Erika Napoletano says:

    With every ill-calculated move, Facebook looks more and more like a frat house than the purported social media behemoth.

  5. Tom Edwards says:

    I agree. I am impressed by the response to rectify the position. It was a shock to our agencies yesterday that this type of change would be rolled out through the Facebook platform teams through the forums vs. some formal announcement of the changes. The path to driving additional revenue for Facebook is not in taking away existing functionality and options. The goal should be to create additional value for brands to manage, administer and analyze the data that is tied to their current initiatives. If I as a brand had a single framework to deploy multi-national pages that provided a cohesive approach to page management as well as partnering with white label application providers to form a marketplace to allow brands to plus up their experience directly from a single point then that warrants a mandatory ad buy or fee.

  6. Guest says:

    Facebook is incompetent. The sooner you realize that and avoid doing business with them, the better. What business needs is a SPAM FREE portal to hawk their wares. FB is no longer spam free and they have no clue about business. They can’t even make a profit, hence all the constant infusions from investors.

    Do you want to be constantly monitoring a site for copycat pages of your business and removing spam from wall posts?

  7. Things that were delicious this week… 21 May, 2010 says:

    [...] tabs for our Facebook pages to increase the chance of a visitor “liking” that page. So when Facebook announced they were limiting that use, page administrators revolted. They seem to have backed down, for now… but for how [...]

  8. Wynne says:

    Idiot move if you ask me. Creates confusion and a bad after taste. I’m getting sick of facebook and google.

  9. pamstages says:

    I’m not sure where Facebook get’s their requirements but they are definetly opperating like they are their own private application without any regard for the opinions of the 400+million users that they have. There are standard processes for software development that can be applied without slowing down development, things that include gathering requirements, testing changes in a limited environment and communicating to end users before changes. They might want to consider using them.

  10. finn says:

    Even Facebook has a greedy breaking point!

  11. Des says:

    I too am very annoyed with Facebook about this and the swift reversal while welcome doesn’t fill me with a warm glow for the company. I can understand some of the restrictions Facebook apply to their less-than-gigantic clients but still overall I feel legitimate small businesses who cough up hard-earned advertising revenue to Facebook are barely considered.

  12. Kevin Davis says:

    This is a fine example why you need an overall marketing strategy, and not rely solely on web 2.0/social media sites like Facebook for you online presence. At any time, they may change their policies and pull the rug out from under your business. You need to have your own website, along with multiple traffic sources to adapt and survive changes in the marketplace such as this. They own the Facebook, so it’s their decision of the restirction to play in their sandbox. This change was a bit extreme, but at least the power of the crowd won over the bully to see how crazy it was to impose those restrictions.

  13. links for 2010-05-21 says:

    [...] Facebook Creates, Removes Restriction on Landing Page Tabs Facebook flip-flops & removes landing pages restrictions http://j.mp/aL7jjH #fb #in #D (tags: fb) [...]

  14. FACEBOOK naujienos ir patarimai #41 | Komunikacija FACEBOOK'e says:

    [...] Facebook testas įdėmiai įvykius sekantiems Ketvirtadienis mums buvo itin įdomus, nes beveik visą dieną su kolega Ariu „prabrainstorminom“, ką darysim po naujos ir žaibiškai įvestos taisyklės, sakančios, kad Facebook LIKE puslapiai naujiems fanams rodomą individualų puslapį leis nustatyti tik po projekto autorizacijos, kuri galima turint 10000 fanų arba reklamai išleidus daugiau nei 20k $. Ta proga net ir tinklaraščio įrašą parašėm, o vakare mėgavomės paneigta žinia, kuri vainikavo ketvirtadienį:) [...]

  15. Facebook, Facebook should I go or should I stay? says:

    [...] studies are bearing out; from BrandGlue’s Jeff Widman’s quote concerning a 47% conversion rate for Facebook pages with a Customized Landing Tab, to Adobe [...]

  16. Get Creative with Facebook Landing Tabs (Pics) « Rachel Melia says:

    [...] the Facebook page with the goal of an increased conversion rate to “Like”.  A recent BrandGlue study found a 47% conversion rate to “Like” with a landing tab vs. a 23% conversion rate without a [...]

  17. Sam Stevens says:

    I thought Facebook’s move was a hoax. I mean, what a stupid decision. Good they rectified it so quickly, but they should have done more market research beforehand and could have avoided this latest fiasco. I use Facebook because I get some insane ROI with it on certain projects, but my trust of the company is waning fast.

    While the landing page tab obviously works in certain scenarios, I’m not convinced it’s effective across all industries. Personally, I find most landing page tabs super annoying and would prefer to see the community activity on the Wall instead—that’s why I’m there. So, like anything else, setup a test to see if it works for your needs.

  18. Nonprofit Facebook Welcome Tabs: Inspiration and Innovation | Community Organizer 2.0 says:

    [...] to a May 2010 BrandGlue study, visitors to Pages with a landing tab converted to “people who like” the Page at a rate [...]

  19. The Power of a Welcome Landing Tab on Facebook « Find Me Follow Me says:

    [...] customized FB “Welcome” tab has a high rate of views to fan conversions. In fact a study indicated that the conversion rate of views to fans from a customized landing page was 47%, as [...]

  20. Default Landing Tabs Back – Facebook Apologizes | techmavens says:

    [...] of 10,000 fans… in less than 24 hours, Facebook has changed the new “rule” back [...]

  21. hasnain says:

    i love my id

  22. Suit | Welcome tabs says:

    [...] Σύμφωνα με τον Jeff Widman του BrandGlue, το conversion των χρηστών από επισκέπτες σε fans υπερδιπλασιάζεται με τη χρήση ενός τέτοιου tab από 23% σε 47%: We ran an A/B test just four weeks ago to guesstimate the efficacy of a landing tab.  We drove visitors to the fan page of a major brand using ads. Those ad-driven visitors converted to fans at a rate of approximately 47% WITH a landing tab. When we turned off the landing tab, those same ad-driven visitors converted to fans at approximately 23%. A VERY noticeable loss in conversions over the course of the campaign. [via] [...]

  23. Evan Johnson says:

    This change, had it happened, certainly would have “nerfed” the effectiveness of Facebook pages for marketing. Glad they backed off!

    Great quote from Jeff Widman at BrandGlue about the A/B testing he ran on landing tabs – the conversion rate doubled with a landing tab!

    Businesses who are looking to get these results from their Facebook page should check out the service I’m working on: http://splashtab.com. It’s a fast and easy way to make great custom landing tabs.

    (Boy are we glad Facebook didn’t institute this restriction on landing tabs!!!)

  24. A Survey of Landing Tabs for Facebook Pages | Hy.ly Blog says:

    [...] to BrandGlue, pages with custom landing tabs acquire more fans than pages without them.  Offering a deal, [...]

  25. Top 75 Apps for Enhancing Your Facebook Page | Social Media Examiner says:

    [...] it’s important to have a branded Landing tab for your Facebook page. In fact, as reported by InsideFacebook, BrandGlue founder Jeff Widman discovered that a custom Landing tab DOUBLES conversion to fans: We [...]

  26. Peter says:

    Great!! It is very nice way to convert visitors into fans, but I still cant program my page so that visitor sees different page after becoming fan. If anyone knows good tutorial on this topic please give link

  27. Josh Constine says:

    @Peter: When people who already Like your Page visit, they are always sent to the wall. There is currently no way to change this.

  28. An Easy Way to Add a Welcome Tab to Your Facebook Page | Direct Sales and Social Media | Jennifer Fong's Blog says:

    [...] fact, a May 2010 BrandGlue study showed that visitors to Pages with a landing tab converted to “people who like” the Page at a [...]

  29. Do Facebook Pages perform better with a Custom Tab? - Quora says:

    [...] reported increases in likes vs. when no landing page is available. One example can be found here: http://www.insidefacebook.com/20… – they cite a BrandGlue.com A/B test that resulted in a 47% conversion rate w/ like tab vs. 23% [...]

  30. Get Creative with Facebook Landing Tabs (Pics) | Women In Consulting Blog says:

    [...] the Facebook page with the goal of an increased conversion rate to “Like”.  A recent BrandGlue study found a 47% conversion rate to “Like” with a landing tab vs. a 23% conversion rate without a [...]

  31. 17 Experts Share Social Media Secrets | id8 (Sellier Design Blog) says:

    [...] Facebook: Did you know that having a call-to-action to Like your page on your default landing tab on Facebook can double your conversion rates of people Liking your page (source: BrandGlue study). [...]

  32. 17 Digital Marketing Experts Share Their Top Tips, Tricks, and Tools « carlosirojas says:

    [...] landing tab on Facebook can double your conversion rates of people Liking your page (source: BrandGlue study). Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this [...]

  33. Anatomy of a Great Facebook Page | RA Social Media says:

    [...] of you before your visitor has to go search for your information. “According to a May 2010 BrandGlue study, visitors to Pages with a landing tab converted to “people who like” the Page at a rate of 47%, [...]

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