Apps, Mobile & SMS

Facebook Announces Major Band Page Changes & They’re Probably Going To Hurt You

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Facebook has announced major changes that will affect evey musician and marketer using Page apps by RootMusic (Bandpages), ReverbNation, FanBridge and others.  On March 31st you will no longer be able to set those apps to serve as your default landing page.  Gone – hidden behind a tab – are the email sign-up, videos, storefront and other features that these apps provided.

In essence, Facebook has taken control back of your landing page. The Timeline cover displays a 851 x 315 pixel banner across the top of your Page. Replacing your app will Facebook's Timeline along with a few new options. You can also feature a Timeline post at the top for up to 7 days; and Timeline highlights any activity between friends and the artist.

These changes becomes madatory on March 31st, but admins can opt in at any time prior. Your app created page will still be available, but as a secondary tab.

Music marketers and developers who we talked today admitted to being caught off guard by Facebook's shift. Most were scrambling to find ways to help artist uttilize the new features. We'll have comments from many of them and much more as the story develops.


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  1. Facebook giveth and Facebook taketh. No surprise. Now that the Wall is the default I guess musicians will need to put more effort into content, posts and engagement. On the plus side at least for now your apps/tabs are full width.

  2. Facebook ads have been rendered useless without a proper landing page. This is only good for legacy brands with a long history of milestones.
    Very short sighted.

  3. This argument doesn’t make any sense, please explain. How is Facebook useless now?
    Look at the stats, it is all about the news feed anyway.

  4. I absolutely hate the new Timeline profile. Couple that with the constant assault on privacy and I sense I may bow out before long.

  5. The designated ‘landing page’ was only ever a landing page for first-time visitors. Once they had ‘Liked’ the landing page would always be The Wall.
    The new Timeline layout offers so much more opportunities to present a Facebook page as a more professional looking web portal. Once people stop whining about “change” and learn to reap the benefits of the new layout they will see the benefits.
    I went ‘Timeline’ on my personal page ages ago and have done the same today on my business page without hesitation.

  6. Actually, you can link to the apps pages. So for ads you can still choose your landing page.
    I just checked that out. It’s the default when people go to your account that is the problem.
    But for links that you post, they can still focus on whatever page you want people to land on.

  7. Well, it’s certainly better for Facebook because the timeline enables internal communication whereas many landing pages lead to external content.

  8. While in an app view on the new version, you do get a wider content area (851 vs. 520) however it’s the landing page that’s the huge issue here. There’s no call to action and the apps are now buried within the busy layout. Keep an eye on your app insights now vs. with Timeline.

  9. It’s about converting visitors to fans and fans to customers. Without landing pages with calls to action. I don’t know what pages you Admin but we see the bulk of our conversions on the landing page.

  10. Like I said, having just looked at an actual band page and checked the links:
    Yes, you can link directly to any app page so in cases where you control the link, the landing page is whatever you want it to be.
    In cases where people are just going to the band page account, the default will apparently now always be the wall. You can’t set your account so that in those cases it goes to an app that you prefer.
    I think Keith is focusing on the second instance but his use of “landing page” to refer only to that usage case is confusing the discussion.

  11. GOTTA LOVE IT… NO REALLY, I MEAN YOU “GOT TO” (you have no choice but to). Any big business (which we all want and expect to have) is ever changing and is quickly flexible when it comes to change. Look at Rihanna’s page. They’ve already adjusted and are moving right along. If you had your page’s landing page set to something like Reverbnation or Rootmusic, realize this change will only encourage you and your fans to become even more social with each other. I, too, initially wasn’t all that excited or impressed after reading this, but I think everyone should look for the good in whats happening here. There’s always some good, you just have to be looking for it.

  12. I said this during the MysSpace days. If you are an artist and are not converting “social network” fans into website hits and email address you could one day be in trouble if you haven’t “broken” before said social site disappears or changes (in the newest case).

  13. ads can be directed to posts, which is a good way to tell a story or pass on some insight into your band.

  14. Soundcloud app for Personal Timelines has a big footprint on the timeline. I wonder if Soundcloud or other apps will get space in Pages Timelines?

  15. These conversions can happen anywhere though, the “landing page” can be anything. Look at root music, its a simple page with a graphic and a media player. Timeline is a graphic and you can pin a media player to the top of your timeline, you can accomplish the same thing.
    I just thing its another batch of changes that everyone will adjust to, everything will work out fine as usual.

  16. Foresight.
    Landing pages had become generally unpleasant. Bugs, load times, gimmicks, and complex (however justifiable) multi-level monthly paid app services became more of a burden than a bolt-on enhancement. No doubt these app providers will roll right along with the shakeup and do great things.
    This is just a platform re-focusing on community building, no one here should be scrambling to regain their bearings or caught off guard, a very long time coming — and still a month to go.
    Remember how painfully stagnant MySpace was?

  17. If i wanted to spend my time writing content, i would have become a writer in the first place, not a musician.

  18. “and you can pin a media player to the top of your timeline, you can accomplish the same thing.”
    No, you can only pin something on the timeline for up to 7 days at a time.
    Bottom line : Send people to your own website/blog, and don’t rely too much on the social networks. Facebook and other Myspaces can ( and WILL ) ruin all your efforts on a whim if they feel like it.

  19. Very well put.
    Well, me, I’m just a music lover who communicated with independent artists and minilabels in the myspace days a lot. Now, most of them still do have a profile there but if I send a message, it is usually lost because people don’t read their inboxes anymore. They have moved on towards F*c*book. I have decided against this because I do not like the behaviour of F*c*book. I was under an alias at MySpace because I refuse to let people know how I waste my time. With F*c*book, you can’t do that and if you try, they’ll delete your profile. I guess the limit for fans to actually enjoy “guilty pleasures” in music or otherwise on F*c*book is much lower because of the lack of anonymity. I have been laughed at for my musical tastes before by real life acquaintances, the kind of people who would be “F*c*book friends” today, those who you know casually but don’t have much to do with.
    From what I read about F*c*book, it smells more and more of a scam against the blogosphere and other independent online scenes with the goal to bring the influence of the corporate world back into the lives of the “digital natives” who originate from those scenes, and to increase its influence.
    I feel glad I do not have a profile there. Yet, I guess I lost out on quite a few great self-released albums because all the limited promotional material there existed for these was locked up behind the F*c*book wall.
    Please, dear independent artists, always maintain your own homepage and mailing list additionally to your profiles on external sites so people can always get into social interaction with you (read: write you an email) without having to be on F*c*book and the like. Thank you.

  20. As frustrating as these changes might be, there are a few advantages for Independent Musicians:
    – much more space for your favorite Facebook music apps (nimbit, root, reverb, etc); with less clutter when you’re on those pages
    – you can pin the stories/messages YOU WANT to the top of the page
    – you can move your favorite apps to the top and left, and they stand out a lot more (much bigger logos) than when they were lost on the left navigation — (besides, after someone “liked” you, FB already changed the landing page to the wall and not your chosen landing page, which really sucked)
    – to make the page you WANT your fans to go to, change the default APP IMAGE to one that will get know your fans will click on it when they land there
    – Lastly, use promotion apps where you can “deep link” directly onto the landing page you want from your promotions, emails, tweets, and posts
    Change is a pain (especially after developers and bands put so much time and effort into making their apps and pages look great); and the only sure thing w FB is that things you count on will change;
    BUT I’d encourage you to embrace these changes — there’s a lot of potential for you and your fans.
    Chairman & CEO, Nimbit

  21. FYI ONLY — For those of you that use Nimbit to promote and sell your music, merch, tickets, and more on Facebook, I just verified on the new Facebook Band Timeline Apps that all of the Nimbit deep linking from your Facebook posts, Tweets, and emails still work great to drive fans directly onto the app page, song, and/or product you want.

  22. There are going to be some huge benefits to the new layout, if you do it correctly.
    I spent the last 15 hours researching this and while the old way of promoting on Facebook is dead on March 30th, the new way may help you in the long run.
    The tabs function will be uncluttered. The front page will let you pin your most important post and highlight others.
    You will have a little more freedom for creativity. But you will have to change things to make sure you are growing your bands awareness.
    And those that adapt, will thrive. Those that don’t will just head back to the garage.

  23. For a long time, I’ve been saying, all these other sites that use facebook to log-in, aggregate content, etc. are going to be sorry.
    Facebook is not concerned with treating your business fairly or to provide you tools to better YOUR business. They are concerned with their own business and probably LOL when they realize how successful they are in having so many other businesses out there GIVE them their traffic, promote their name, promote their logo on ads, billboards, whatever.
    Anyone who puts their eggs in another company’s basket (that has no interest in whether that company succeeds or fails) is pretty stupid if you ask me.
    Why not just give the keys to your castle to Frankenstein?

  24. LOL @ the variety of negative comments. Facebook constantly revamps their functionality and every time the entire online world goes up in arms… then gets over it after a few months. The variety of band pages with their static apps were pretty counter to the current, up-to-date trends of social media these days. I applaud Facebook for forcing things back to more effective possibilities. Just because someone figured out how to integrate a bland, quirky plugin doesn’t mean anyone actually wanted to click on it. Stay nimble folks! The best approach is to embrace it and get ahead of the curve.
    A few people have really hit it already, but there’s no value in betting your entire marketing strategy around Facebook and then being upset when the change their system. Just use it the best way you can and exercise more control over your own website.
    Thanks as always to Hypebot for facilitating a great discussion!

  25. Exactly! I had to not only teach myself what I needed to know, finding the right tab to use, etc….let alone the designing of the page…ARGH! If only I’d known, I’d not wasted valuable time.

  26. Just play music on your front porch then.
    Crank it up if you want the neighbors to hear, take it online if you want the world to hear.
    You decide how much it matters if other people can hear you, Facebook is optional.

  27. Me being a band promoter, ..Like I’ve Always stated..MY SPACE is STILL the best place for Music/Musicians..

  28. Dang!! now i gotta change my email address…LOL…but ..SERIOUSLY, My Space is BEST, it just got a little slow there for a whaile…like Facebook is doing now, except My Space is letting us keep the music:)

  29. We are creatures of habit. I liked the old myspace, youtube and facebook pages better. Yes that is a personal opinion and preference. The main reason is I work with many bands here in Austin and all of these changes are much added work and bloodshot eyes I don’t really need or want. On the other hand if it is your website you can do what you want with it, no matter how many people you piss off.

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