Videos, events now featured in publisher tool for pages; Questions demoted to drop-down menu

Facebook appears to be testing a consolidated content publisher on pages, giving new prominence to videos and events while hiding the Questions feature behind a drop-down menu.

The publisher is the area from which page owners make posts to their fans. With the initial rollout of Timeline for pages, the publisher included options to post a status, photo, question or milestone. Milestones are posts that get larger placement on Timeline to commemorate important events or achievements. One problem with the old publisher was that it wasn’t clear that to upload a video, page owners had to click “photo.” See below.

Now the publisher features three sections: status, photo/video and event/milestone+. When page owners click event/milestone, they will see options to create an event, share a milestone or ask a question. (See below.) This makes event creation much simpler than before, when it could take several clicks to add a new event, but it makes the Questions feature much less noticeable. It’s unclear whether Facebook is trying to discourage page owners from using Questions, but its placement suggests it’s a lower priority for the company.

Although only certain partners have access to Facebook offers for now, we are told the ability to create an offer will soon be available from the publisher. We do not know how much prominence the feature will get when it rolls out.

The Facebook publisher has gone through a number of iterations both for users and for pages over the years. The social network seems to go back and forth between offering more or fewer options in the space. At one point the tool included third-party apps under a drop-down menu, but then Facebook eliminated the feature citing low usage. Events were added to the publisher in 2009, but removed a year later. We can likely expect more tinkering with the publisher this year as Facebook tries to find a balance between streamlining the user interface and making people aware of all the options available to them.

It’s worth noting that when page owners choose the “use Facebook as a page” feature, they see an older version of the homepage publisher, which includes separate options for links and videos. Some time in the past few months, the social network grouped photos and videos together, as well as status and links, but it did not update this less frequently used aspect of the site seen below.

Hat tip to AllFacebook for first making us aware of the change.

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