In a change late Wednesday evening Facebook debuted a major change to the look and format of its Group Pages. Group Pages allow people to discuss a specific topic with others, and can be Secret, Closed, or Open. Secret groups do not show up in a search and you must have a link or know someone to find out about them. None of their posts or interactions show up on any members Timeline or in their Friends New Feed. Closed Groups require new members to be approved before joining, and Open Groups can be joined by anyone who has interest in doing so.
The new format applies to all three types of Groups and Group Pages. As a default a Photo Strip at the top of the Page shows picture of the members.
The great thing about this photo strip of the Members is that it is interactive. So if you would like to contact someone in the strip or add them to your Friends you can access their profile just by clicking on the thumbnail.
My favorite part of this change is the ability for Group Owners and Administrators to upload a large size Cover Shot for the Group ala personal profile’s Timeline photos. If you hover over the upper right corner of the Group Thumbnails and option to change the photo will appear.
Once you upload a photo you can reposition it:
It can make quite a dramatic impact with the right type of photo chosen. Per Mari Smith, “The banner dimensions are 800px wide by 200px tall. (Leave a strip at the bottom 30px high without any print, as the group’s info bar goes across the cover image, though it is opaque).”
And if you would like to go back to the default Thumbnails, or change to another photo that is very simple also.
My feeling is that with Facebook Timelines coming to your Facebook Page soon, that this Group Format change is either a precursor to this coming change, or indicates that Facebook is trying to align all its Pages to a similar look and feel.
Have you started working on your new Facebook Page format to be ready for the upcoming changes?
Photo Credit: s829.photobucket.com by Artisen