Are you still obsessed with the number of “Likes”? That is no longer a concern anymore! Earlier this year, Facebook launched a redesigned public “Page” for markets, which will be updated successively. Providing a brand new UX-friendly interface to public pages for Public Figures and Creators, this move mainly enables public page owners to connect with their audience in an easier and safer manner. Here, we will reveal the six major update features.

At this point, are “Likes” that indicative of audience engagement? In the past, “Likes” were a good thing for brands, individuals, and even Facebook. Through “Likes”, brands could learn more about their audience profile, personal accounts could build on their popularity from “Likes” and Facebook could update its advertising delivery algorithm through evaluation of how public pages relate to users’ preferences.  

In the emergence of more and more brands, the number of “Likes” has also become a growth metric of brand following. Yet, this metric is still undermined by the general decrease in organic reach. It is no longer that the number of “Likes” on a Page that infers performance of organic reach of posts.  Often, consumers are exposed to so many brands that they do not necessarily remember which public pages they have “Liked”. Your brand’s content posts being seen by consumers is more attributed to whether they are “Following” your Page. Thus in real practice, consumers clicking “Follow” lends more weight than clicking “Like” to brands.  

On that note, we have compiled the “Page” updates released by Facebook, with focus on the removal of the “Like” button. From here, we will walk all shopowners (especially KOLs, community sellers, individual sellers etc.) through the benefits of this update. What to do with previously amassed “likes” from your public page? Will your brand following established to date on your page be affected? Let us examine together.  

Note: Although public pages are targeted to public figures and creators at this time, Facebook has also announced that public pages will soon be rolled out to all Facebook pages in the future.

Removal of the "Like" button (picture taken from Facebook)

Figure 1. Facebook announced a fully redesigned Facebook Page interface and functions, and of the many feature updates included removal of the “Like” button (picture taken from Facebook)

Six major updates to the Facebook Page Redesign

1. A Simpler and Intuitive Interface Design

The new Facebook Page interface will provide Admins with easier switching between their personal account and public page. Unlike with the old interface, users will be able to conveniently view the public page’s profile, posts and other key information with the more streamlined design in the new interface.

With this design upgrade, users will be able to check out your profile and key information quicker, so it is recommended to make sure you have a detailed introduction on your public page, and be thorough with complete content information showing on your page.  

2. Dedicated News Feed and New Ways to Engage

Previously, only personal accounts had a dedicated News Feed. In this new version of public pages, Admins will be able to easily find conversations from the dedicated News Feed and interact with fans. At the same time, the dedicated News Feed will also allow for more new connections to be made with other public figures, pages, groups, and trending content. 

To allow the conversations on the public page to reach a wider audience and appear more frequently in news feeds, public figures’ comments will appear at the top of the comments section, and these comments will appear more often in the news feeds of followers, effectively increasing brand visibility. What’s more to this redesign, users are also able to follow Pages directly from the comments and recommendations posts thereby further creating engagement between different Pages themselves. 

In light of this, we can also explore as Page owners, how to interact more often with other pages not only for the purpose of enhancing brand visibility, but also to grow one’s follower base. 

3. An All New Q&A Function

The new Facebook Page will support richer and more engaging conversations through a brand new text-based Q&A function. Administrators will be able to host Q&A sessions with a given topic on their own public pages where followers can post questions and answers coming in are featured in a swipeable stack of cards that anyone following along can read and engage with. 

At present, the Q&A function is partially open to some users. We can try out this feature to gauge around what followers may generally have questions about the brand, and then we can share these answers in the Q&A section of the brand’s website to enhance the consumer shopping experience.

Q&A posts

Figure 2. Facebook will automatically organize SHOPLINE community’s Q&A posts into a swipeable card stack for users easily to browse through.

4. Followers focused on the fan page (the “Like” function will be removed)

Facebook will do away with the “Like” button and focus on the followers. Even if you have millions of followers, this number will no longer appear on the page information, such that this feature update is to simplify how users connect with their favorite public pages. As well, followers can more easily receive the Page’s update in their News Feed, while Page administrators can learn more about their fanbase profile.

Regarding the removal of the “Like” button, you might worry that your hard-earned number of “likes” will be wasted and that your organic reach will drop etc. To counter these concerns, it is mentioned in Facebook Business Help Center that if you want users to see your Page posts in their own News Feeds, it is recommended to use “followers” as a more effective metric to reflect your Page’s true reach. The “Like” count only represents users’ support to your Page. In the classic Facebook Page, the Page would automatically “follow” for the user after clicking “like”, so the user could still click “like” and cancel “follow”. For that reason, “followers” is a more certain indicator that your content can be seen.

Upon switching into the new Page, what will be the changes to the Page “likes”? According to Facebook:

  • Users who “like and follow” the classic Page will continue to “follow” the same Page and be counted in the “total number of followers”. 
  • Users who have “liked” the classic Page but have not clicked “follow”, their headcount will not transfer to the follower count of the same new Page.
  • Users who “follow” the classic Page but did not “like” their headcount will transfer to the follower count of the same new Page.
  • Newly created Page does not support and convert “likes” into account insight.

Similarly, if you switch from the new to classic Page, the follower count will remain the same, and the original “like” count will remain unless the user “unfollows” the new Page, and the followers of the new Page will transfer to the follower count of the classic Page. Therefore, in an era when the organic reach of Facebook posts is generally low, increasing the number of “followers” will give the brand a breakthrough from the Page management side. 

5. Higher performance from New Page Management Tools

Facebook will add new account management functions. For example, Page administrators can easily switch between personal and the public Page accounts (Figure 3, left); and assign access permissions more granularly, to focus on giving people varying levels of access to perform specific tasks across Insights, Ads, Community Activity and Messages allowing for account management safety and best practices (Figure 3).

The new Page management tools

Figure 3. The new Page management tools can quickly switch between personal and public Page accounts, and can clearly assign task access permissions (image from Facebook). 

6. Network Security Upgrades and Integrity Functions

Facebook has always been creating a platform where Pages and followers can be safely connected. Therefore, this updates of this redesign will also strengthen the detection of unallowed behavior on the platform (including hate speech, violence, pornography, spam content, and impersonation).

At the same time, Facebook will also increase the visibility of public Pages with verified badges and prioritize exposure of messages from these accounts to the top, so that posts and messages from real Pages and personal accounts are seen by users. This also means that as a verified Page account, when you leave a message under a public post on another Page, your message will appear at the top of the comments section and be displayed in the News Feed (See Figure 3, right).

To sum up

To wrap up, Facebook’s update this time is to provide a more meaningful and user-friendly platform while at the same time, to allow Page owners (sellers) to reconsider and plan the future direction of their social media management. Rather than on the number of fans, sellers should shift their focus towards personalization of their brand Page, just as how a content creator shapes a “humanly” Page by producing content that meets the audience, and interacts with other Pages to increase visibility. Once accumulated a sizeable follower base, you can then catch on with the hype of social commerce, and quickly monetize your traffic through live broadcasts, e-shops, etc.,to open up more income channels.