In December 2010, Facebook rolled out their new interface for user profiles, adding photos across the top of the page and moving from a horizontal tab bar to a vertical column of navigation tools on the left. Although in my mind there’s still miles to go in terms of aesthetics and the overall user experience architecture, this was a welcome improvement.
Last week, Facebook finally made the move we’ve been waiting for. Now, commercial “pages” are free to interact with the Facebook environment just like individual Facebook users. Page administrators can visit other pages on behalf of their organization and add comments or even “like” user profiles, photos, newsletter campaigns and all manner of social currency within the sprawling Facebook utopia.
This is great news for companies and organizations seeking to expand exposure to new individuals and organizations. Now, a simple “like” of a user’s comment, question or other activity situates your brand squarely in front of your target audience, if only for a nanosecond. We can imagine great possibilities with brand exposure marketing campaigns.
One can also see a new B2B channel opening up, since companies can now interact with each other in a more intimate way (although that clearly comes with its own set of potential problems). For small communities of freelancers, contractors, designers and the like, this is a truly welcome opportunity.
With Facebook now topping 600 million users worldwide (154 million in the U.S.) and emerging as the destination on the web where more time is spent than any other site, including Google, this new flexibility for companies and organizations is nothing short of huge. And when combined with advertising, we expect to see some fun and creative new campaigns emerging on Facebook which will create an even more unique and personal experience between organizations and individuals.