In a move which would further strengthen and augment the scope of Facebook, the social networking giant has brought a new update to Pages bringing major changes since it introduced Timeline in 2012. After the new update, the Pages section would have additional features namely, Shop and Services tabs and an improved “Call to Action” button.
The announcement was made by COO Sheryl Sandberg during a press event at the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California. The said changes, according to Facebook would especially help the small businesses without a website or an app to use Facebook to boost their online presence.
The new Shops and Services tab would help the businesses to showcase their products and services at one place enabling its customers to find information easily. Facebook wrote in a statement,
The new features for Pages reflect our belief that no matter if you’re a plumbing company, a flower shop, a non-profit or a brand, your Page should house the information people are looking for, help you communicate with your customers, and support your unique goals.
In addition to this, Call to Action buttons; Call Now, Send Message and Call Us are redesigned in order to give them a more prominent appearance on the business page. Pages now can also post replies to any comments or queries on timeline in a private message and if they reply soon enough, say within 5 minutes of any query 90% of time, they can earn a profile badge indicating “Very Responsive” thereby improving their reputation among users.
A major reason behind such changes is the supposedly growing presence of small businesses on Facebook which currently stands at about 45 million — having increased from 40 million in April with a million new pages being added every month.
And the main thing common among most of such pages is that they do not have their dedicated mobile app or website (as much as 35% businesses in US don’t have an online presence at all) and even if they do have or choose to build an app, people would hardly download an app of any local businesses such as of a salon or a florist. Facebook aims to bridge this gap and offer Facebook as a platform and sort of a digital mall where such businesses can showcase their products and even sell them from Facebook itself.
The new features are still in testing face and are available to a limited number of business pages but will soon be made available more broadly in the coming weeks.