Tabs on official branded Facebook pages will be downsized from 760 to 520 pixels wide on Aug. 23, the social site announced on its blog Friday evening. The Palo Alto, CA-based company said page administrators could preview their custom tabs in the new width format this week, allowing them to tweak page layouts before the buttons become automatically resized.
The tabs essentially allow brands to create a top navigation system for sections of their Facebook page. Retailers from all niches have created "Shop" and "Weekly Deals" tabs to pitch products. Manufacturers and service providers have made YouTube tabs with videos showcasing their wares and specialties. Other marketers have used the tabs to push engagement features like polls and interactive games.
A 32 percent decrease in width would seem to point towards fewer clicks on the tabs. But Hazel Grace Dircksen, founder of Facebook marketing agency Social Bees, suggests the changes on the social site do not necessarily mean bad news for advertisers.
"For marketers, this is basically just a temporary inconvenience for page owners," she said. "Though unconfirmed, we speculate that the narrower tab would allow for wider ads, which would be great for brands trying to gain awareness on Facebook."
Meanwhile, Facebook also announced via the blog that the "Boxes" tab on both brand pages and personal profiles will be going away.
Fran Larkin, Facebook's platform product marketing manager, explained the changes in his post: "These updates are designed to simplify navigation for users, reduce complexity for developers, and enable us to build the next generation of tools for growing your business with Facebook. We'll share more of our plans for the roadmap in the coming weeks."
Follow Christopher Heine on Twitter at @ChrisClickZ.
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
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