Limitations Become Opportunity with Facebook's New Page Layout
On Thursday February 10th, Facebook made their new layout available for "pages" who opted to upgrade. I decided to try it out and see what it was all about. On March 11th everyone will automatically be switched over whether they like it or not. There are many changes, some good, others not so great. For a thorough review of all the updates, check here.
For me, the biggest change is how the old tabs have been replaced by five small image thumbnails. While I was dissapointed to see my custom FBML pages get bounced from their spot, I liked the idea of sharing images up top. Unfortunately, the thumbnail viewing area is much smaller than the actual photos, so only a portion of every image is visible. Users have no control as to what part of their images are shown. This results in thumbnails which look very odd, including portraits with heads cut off, and landscapes with no sky. It was definitely not the way I wanted to show my work.
Thankfully I remembered coming across a very creative idea on TechCrunch back in December. At that time, Alexandre Oudin turned his personal page into an amazing work of art. My imagination started to wander as I considered all the possible ways I could create something unique with these 5 thumbnails. Maybe a new banner I thought, or a logo, or a clever slogan...
My excitement quickly hit a wall as I learned about the new limitations set forth by Facebook. Shortly after Alexandre Oudin used their service to create a compelling piece of work, more artists followed suit. For some odd reason, Facebook then disabled the abilitly for users to control the position of the thumbnails. Instead, they are now randomly shuffled. I had no choice but to rethink my plan and come up with a way to create five independent thumbnails that would look OK regardless of their position.
The decision was to create individual images to feature the various parts of my business. These small images would include a caption along with links to the proper page. The correct thumbnail size is 68 pixels x 92 pixels at 72dpi. All files were created in Photoshop where I added text, visuals, and gradient layers. I then uploaded all five of these images into a new album, and called it "Wall Photos". Here's the finished page.
I'm pleased with the end result, but I truly wonder if Facebook will make more changes to undo what I've done. Only time will tell. In the meantime, your feedback is welcome. Thanks!
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