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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. Jackie Lee on February 10, 2011 at 2:03 am

    It’s weird. one of my fanpages has the ability to set a specific page and the other doesn’t. It just doesn’t make sense, and is very frustrating. Any idea if I’ve not got something turned on correctly on one?

  2. joelmarkwitt on July 12, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Thanks Mari for the heads up. Facebook continually frustrates a lot of people because they keep changing things and then changing them back. I know it's always good to keep testing and tweaking – but there's go to be a better way that won't make users feel like Guinea pigs. Thanks again Mari for staying on top of all this.


  3. gwenmcgreen on May 26, 2010 at 10:43 am

    It is strange indeed. In my opinion they are trying different options or possibilities, like with landing page or without it. In my opinion, the reason why they are not making these trials public is to avoid chaos and people to stop trusting the social media site, leading to problems for facebook; especially after all these privacy policies and settings’ problems facebook has had.

  4. gwenmcgreen on May 26, 2010 at 3:43 am

    It is strange indeed. In my opinion they are trying different options or possibilities, like with landing page or without it. In my opinion, the reason why they are not making these trials public is to avoid chaos and people to stop trusting the social media site, leading to problems for facebook; especially after all these privacy policies and settings' problems facebook has had.

  5. Jim Alexander on May 20, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Strange times. Our landing page option went away, as you mentioned last evening, and now has mysteriously returned. Just which way is the wind blowing?

  6. Ashish Kulkarni on May 20, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Hello Mari,Thanks for giving credit to image used. (many of times people use entire article and won’t write that word credit)Yes I would like to confirm that issue has been resolved and now people are able to set the default landing tab to FBML enabled welcome tab.Please go through…where i written more about this. ThanksAshish Kulkanri

    • Mari Smith on May 20, 2010 at 11:02 am

      Greetings Ashish – thank you so much for stopping by. Whew, crazy times with changes one way then back again in 24 hours, eh?!

      You're so welcome re the credit – I had done a Twitter search for this issue yesterday in midst of trying to confirm from several key contacts whether the change was true or not and came across your post. Good to meet you!!

      I'm off to check your update now. 🙂

  7. Karen Runtz on May 20, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Just days ago I was on top of the world having successfully followed Mari's instructions on creating a custom welcome tab to set up my “dogs who love posties” facebook page to promote responsible dog ownership. I was preparing to blog about it–my wordpress blog is about my journey as I learn and apply the channels of social media, out of my job and comfort zone. I now feel betrayed and crushed. What I've appreciated so much is how people like Mari in particular make these channels a community of sharing knowledge and support. Yet Facebook itself shows such disregard for us.

  8. Mike Gingerich on May 20, 2010 at 5:57 am

    Yes, FB has restored ability to set the fan page default landing tab. Anyone see a statement by FB on this?

  9. Juno on May 20, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Facebook is banned in several countries but people can not live without communicating with each other. they created several sites which are facebook look alike. I came across one of them

  10. Walt Goshert on May 20, 2010 at 3:22 am

    If the FB space is important to your business, why not use a custom keyword domain to redirect to your FB landing page? It’s only $9-10 a year.

    Also, this FB move once again confirms the importance of building your own community on a platform you own- your blog and interaction with your email list.

    It will be interesting to see the response from marketers on this. How long will it take for Page conversations to move to another platform? To blogs? To Google Buzz? How much effort will you put into maintaining Wall communication and interaction? (continuing to generate content for FREE for FB)

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