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More changes on the way for Facebook Fan Pages

Facebook, Inc.Image via Wikipedia

If you administer a Facebook Page for your business or organization, you may want to take note of a few changes coming around the corner.

Content width: Facebook is changing the width of the content area underneath the tabs to 560 pixels wide from 760 pixels. This will have implications for you if you've done any custom HTML or FBML designs. If any of them are wider than 560 pixels, they may appear truncated or cut off.

Say goodbye to Boxes: "Boxes" are little areas and tabs that allowed you to build out and integrate custom content into your Facebook Pages. If you're currently using them, be aware that they will soon be disappearing. In my opinion the Boxes were hard to manage and clunky, so I'm glad to see Facebook streamlining how custom content is created.

E-mail addresses: In early 2010, Facebook will launch the ability for Facebook Pages to collect e-mail addresses from fans on an opt-in basis. This has huge implications for marketers - currently, you can reach fans through the Page itself, but every company would love to have e-mail addresses to go with it. Ideally you'll be able to achieve some crossover between your Facebook communications with your e-mail marketing initiatives.

These changes once again show that Facebook is always on the move in terms of improving and tweaking the social network. What do you think of the upcoming moves?

Nathan T. Wright is the founder of Lava Row, a social media education, consulting and strategy firm based in Des Moines' East Village.
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I have a FB fan page for 'Des Moines Is NOT Boring', but I do not have any boxes and I dont think the content width limitations will be too much of a cocern. I think email addresses are huge because it opens up the medium to further extensions and connections with Fans. I will now have the ability to email info about my page to Fans who may or maynot check the page reguraly, which is huge. Although,I bet a lot of them opt out because most are fans of more than one page and will likely get a ton of emails as a result.

For all the geeks out there reading this, here's the horse mouth regarding all the pending changes: http://wiki.developers.facebook.com/index.php/Developer_Roadmap

I like the boxes being removed and I can live with the width limitations on custom work (although I have some work to do when they make that real).

One thing I wasn't sure about is updates. I think they're going to kill the ability of the Page admin to send out an Update to all fans of the page and this will force us to rely on the Stream to reach Fans. That's supposedly why they are allowing the opt-in email system. I have never been a big fan of the update feature and haven't used it much. What do other folks think about this change?

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