Note: this story was quoted by a Mashable article on the same subject (yes, I am trying to bragg right now. But I was really excited and had to share that with you)
Working for a social media agency has its perks. One is that you notice immediately when facebook makes a major unannounced change to its layout. That’s what happened early this afternoon.
Facebook went down for about half an hour after a premature release of a new layout for facebook pages. I was able to explore the new features for about five minutes before the service was shut down. I quickly went to one of the pages I’m an admin for (Big Water Raft Co.) and here’s what I saw (note: Big Water Raft is not a client. Just a page I have admin privileges to):
- A new feature that allows page administrators to log in as the page itself (instead of being logged in as your personal account).
- Once I logged in as the page admin, I noticed updates on my status bar that something new had been posted to the page’s wall. This nifty feature will allow brands to stay up-to-date with the conversation that is happening on their wall.
- Pages can comment on other pages! I quickly visited another page listed on my page’s “favorites” list: Wildwater, a love story (it’s a river guide thing). While there I was able to post a comment on that page’s wall (I tried doing the same thing on one of my follower’s wall, but it would not allow me to). Basically, brands can comment on other brand’s walls, but they cannot comment on individuals walls (at least in this initial rollout). This will prevent pages from spamming individual’s walls.
- But what I was impressed with most was that after I commented on this page’s wall, I logged out as an admin and went back to my own profile. Lo and behold the comment I had posted as Big Water Raft on Wildwater’s wall showed up in my personal home feed!
What does this all mean? The ability for a brand to comment on someone else’s wall makes direct engagement on facebook possible. In this regard, facebook will be able to leverage one of twitter’s most powerful features: the ability for a brand to communicate with people outside of the brand’s own home environment. This will essentially allow brand’s to communicate as if they were actual people. Whether it will be possible to do this on an individual’s wall or just another brand’s wall is yet to be seen. But either way, this feature will allow a deeper relationship to be built between your brand and your audience than was previously possible on facebook.
So what do you think about this? Is it a game changer? Or just another change that facebook is cramming down our throats?