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Facebook Nixes Default Landing Tab Option

[UPDATE #2: May 20, 2010: A few members of my community alerted me their Default Landing Tab had “reverted” back… or was working now.

So I conducted a test: I logged out of Facebook, then pulled up about a dozen fan pages with fewer than 10,000 fans that would normally land on a Welcome tab. Some did, some didn’t.

There doesn’t seem to be any pattern. I’m guessing Facebook are rolling out this new “Default Landing Tab Only for Authenticated Pages” rule in phases. Or, perhaps they’ve listened to us and are rolling back?!]

[UPDATE #1: As a workaround to this new inability to direct non-fans to your custom landing tab, you could make your own redirect link, e.g. goes to my fan page and could just as easily go to any tab. (You could also use any link shortener, e.g.

Remember, each tab still has its own unique URL and all your tabs/apps are still intact.

This approach with your own redirect link could work well for promotions outside Facebook.

However, any promotion inside Facebook (e.g. @ tags) would automatically go to whichever default landing tab you’ve set – either Wall or Info. I recommend Wall.

Once you reach 10,000 fans, you’ll be able to set your cutom landing tab. Though, so far, a couple members of my community have mentioned they cannot make the change and they’re over 10k fans. Sounds like the change is buggy.

Props to my fab friend, Mike Stelzner for the redirect link suggestion.]


Original post follows:

For some time, I’ve been raving about the benefits of having your non-fans land on a specific, custom landing tab on your Facebook Fan Page.

When you send visitors to your Facebook Fan Page, previously, you could have them land on a Welcome Tab, for instance – the purpose of which was to help visitors understand what your business is about and to compel them to want to join your Fan Page.

The option to set this was fairly easy – click on Options underneath the publisher on your Fan Page wall, then click on Settings and select the landing tab from the drop down menu:

However, in a rather odd move, today Facebook quietly let a few disgruntled developers know in the Facebook Developers Forum that they would no longer be offering the option to have a custom default landing tab. That is, unless you have a minimum of 10,000 fans or you have an account rep at Facebook.

New settings for fan pages with <10,000 fans:

(Image credit)

Here’s the forum post:

Amidst all the hoopla of the privacy concerns and morass of Community Pages, this default landing tab change just seems grossly unfair to the small business owner, in particular.

As Nick O’Neill writes, “We’d assume that this change was made for two reasons: to combat spam and more importantly, to boost revenue…”


To clarify, ALL of your custom tabs still exist. And – this is important – each tab still has its own unique URL. So, theoretically, you could shorten the URL’s and split test landing tabs as I’ve talked about before.

If you don’t have an account rep, here’s the contact form per Facebook.

How do you feel about this change? Was the default landing tab for non-fans a big part of your Fan Page promotion strategy? Let me know in the comments below:

Props to my bud Dave Kerpen for the phone call today about the Developer Forum post, and to my Twitter bud Ryan Burns for drawing my attention to this change last night (at first we thought it was a bug!), and to my bud Nick O’Neill for promptly blogging about the issue.

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Mari Smith

Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is widely known as the Premier Facebook Marketing Expert and a top Social Media Thought Leader. Forbes describes Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” IBM named Mari as one of seven women that are shaping digital marketing. Mari is an in-demand keynote speaker, corporate social media strategist, dynamic live webcast host, and popular brand ambassador. She is coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day, and author of The New Relationship Marketing.

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  1. Clinton Power on May 20, 2010 at 3:21 am

    SO unfair! I am a small business owner and paid significant $$$ to produce an effective landing page as per Mari’s recommendations. It is now mostly ineffective as the intention of the landing tab was to increase sign-ups to my newsletter and increase the number of people following me. I am amazed they have made these changes with no consultation and in the midst of all the bad privacy publicity. I am really losing respect for Facebook and what they are offering small businesses.

  2. Sharon L Fullen on May 20, 2010 at 3:03 am

    It’s not that we can’t live with the change – it’s just that this is suppose to be a social community and their actions aren’t very social. Nor is it very customer friendly. But since we aren’t considered customers (are we freeloaders?), the idea probably never crossed anyone’s mind. I think this is part of an overall plan to convert to a pay/use model.

    I don’t know how this benefits Facebook (or even gives “paying customers” a benefit) but I suppose there are other “surprises” to come which will build upon these changes. Just as we became “likers” so that they could use our web activity without our permission.

    At this point, they have power just because of their size but so did MySpace at one time. Are we watching them kill themselves off a pin prick at a time?

  3. Margaret on May 20, 2010 at 1:45 am

    Well this explains why my welcome page wasent working anymore. Im starting to rethink my entire FN fan page experience

  4. Kyra on May 20, 2010 at 1:26 am

    I have found a few funny things like this on Facebook and it is frustrating! I’m finding Facebook less and less user friendly (even as a techie)! Like the info tab on your page for example, unless you select the right page category from the word go, you have limited options for what information you add to this tab. The Welcome tab was a way around this for me.

  5. Robin Bertelsen on May 20, 2010 at 1:21 am

    Mari, Thanks for getting the word out so quickly on this. Seriously, Facebook, are you trying to control the world? Were people complaining? As a user, I like the different landing pages for us non-“likers.”

    As for the Info tab being a default, that page is so horribly set up, it’s worthless. And didn’t Facebook say they were going to get rid of this tab in the near future?

  6. AnnaLaura Brown on May 20, 2010 at 12:53 am

    This totally sucks. I wish facebook would stop making all the changes. At this rate they won’t be around for long. I just did a webinar training last night showing people how to do this and now they can’t. This is total BS. It makes me want to just give up on facebook. idiots.

  7. lalunablanca on May 20, 2010 at 12:53 am

    This news is unnerving. First it was only letting the 10,000+ pages see stats on update views, now this. It is only by virtue of the worlds’ small businesses that Facebook even exists. Now, it sure seems to be turning its back on us. We’ve even come up with to passively protest the privacy issues (#FFF). To PamMktgNut’s point below, she’s now going to have a terrible time convincing her clients to risk much with Facebook now. Thanks Facebook for the egg on so many very supportive faces. Thanks for sharing this dear lady. You’re awesome and no doubt stressed about brand Mari as well. We love you no matter how much of a punk Facebook turns out to be.

  8. Robin Villaverde on May 20, 2010 at 7:43 am

    Following your excellent guidance I have been planning a few new pages and had intended to employ the custom landing page. As your piece points out – coming in this cluster of questionable/objectionable changes – I’m getting pretty fed up with Face Book and will devote a lot more time to finding an alternative where I will direct my primary marketing efforts. Feel free to view my semi-tongue-in-cheek rant on my wall for more of my humble opinion. >:-{

  9. Lorne Pike on May 20, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Some changes are made out of necessity, and some for competitive positioning. But for Facebook to announce this move just as they announce 500 million users, I can think of no motivation but greed. C’mon Facebook; sure there are big, big corporations out there with lots of marketing money, but 499,990,000 of your users are not out to get 10,000 users. We’re just trying to make a living or tell our stories to the world. That was the spirit behind Facebook in the first place. You’re better than this.

    Aren’t you?

  10. Deidre Brathwaite on May 20, 2010 at 12:33 am

    some great features, brainwashed us into thinking that we could use this platform as one of our main digital outpost and now that we have invested much time into this medium is giving us the stick.

    I’m sorry but Facebook is concerned about one thing only and that’s Facebook. I know that this is their business and they have the right to operate as they see fit but they do depend on us as the users for success. What bothers me is not that they make changes but is how they make the changes, without any regard of how it impacts the user.

    What happens if we all wake up tomorrow and decide not to use Facebook… Adios Facebook.


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