At least MySpace never did a redesign (at least when it mattered)!
But on the heels of a massive and disruptive overhaul that ushered in Timeline, there are now rumblings of even more Facebook changes ahead. Which could mean more unexpected scrambling for artists, labels, and app providers.
Right now, Facebook is only pointing to a ‘small change’ in the works, while declining to discuss how broad initial tests (and ultimate distribution) will be. And, the artist app providers we’ve talked to aren’t quite sure what’s next. In other words, this is a completely uncertain forecast that could potentially include significant adjustments with little-to-no lead-time, no matter how minor they appear to the outside world.
Here’s a look at some of the changes, as first unearthed by TPM journalist Carl Franzen. Notice the shifts in how top-level information is presented (on the top of the large image), and perhaps more importantly, the disappearance of smaller, ‘cube’ images that direct users to deeper tabs.
Compare that to the current version.
A few problems immediately pop out. For example, the disappearance of the image stamps associated with ‘Friends,’ ‘Photos,’ ‘Map,’ and other deeper areas. Meaning, not only has Facebook dictated that artist app pages cannot be default landing pages, they are now minimizing the chances of that app page getting noticed in the first place. Which could ultimately nullify Timeline retoolings like this one, from ReverbNation.
No big deal? At the very least, this is a headache for players like ReverbNation, BandPage, BandRx, and Nimbit, though perhaps it all depends on your perspective. We talked to Nimbit vice president of Marketing Carl Jacobson on the matter, who largely anticipated cosmetic changes – and beyond that, was applying Zen calm to the matter. “To your specific point about the tabs being switched to a menu bar, we’re not overly concerned about that,” Jacobson told Digital Music News. “This is similar to being able to define a default landing page, which was great while it lasted, but not something you can reliably pin your strategy on.”
“What we rely on Facebook to continue doing is what it’s designed to do, connect you to your friends to have shared experiences. In our specific domain, that means turning friends onto the music and artists you love.”