Ok so I’m not really talking about an 'about face', but it was a catchy title, it’s more of Facebook (FB) sticking to their guns and the essential qualities of what I feel FB is.
We’ve done a few FB tabs in the past and they’ve been really successful, see BNZ facebook, but I’ve not really seen or heard much emphasis put upon them in NZ, especially not leveraging the awesomeness of a CMS like Drupal to power them.
They work well (the tabs) especially for businesses, however, being able to set the tab as a default landing page I felt was a bit of a cheat and was a kind of website duplicate.
This is where the new timeline changes have sealed the deal for me. Many tabs are used for direct powers of evil like selling a product or offering a discount or coupon right on the landing page, whereas the reasoning for FB for business is as a communication channel, a place to listen to the customer and interact on a more social level. FB, especially the landing page, is not a place for selling direct. Let the user choose if they wish to see/hear about your product or service. It felt like a real convergence of wrongness (great word, I’ve been waiting for a chance to use it)
So what’s changed, default tab landing pages are a thing of the past, tabs are now added as a secondary click through under the header canvas. Users landing on a business page see what FB is all about; the dialgue between business and consumer. Essentially, the dialogue, the updates to status messages, the likes, the added daily content is what is going to drive the page. It means that the information on the initial screen is going to be up to date and real, no hiding behind promotions. It lets your website do the selling and lets FB create social dialogue which is what, i feel, it was designed for.