Heads up for anyone running a Facebook page – a change is coming on August 1, 2019 that could have a pretty significant impact. And as is so often the case with major Facebook updates, I found out about it by accident.

One of my clients/colleagues posted a general message in a private Facebook group, asking whether or not anyone else’s pages seemed to be missing crucial information. I manage six or seven different pages; some are mine, some belong to clients, others to organizations I volunteer with, like my son’s Boy Scout Troop.

I didn’t notice any obvious holes, but I poked around a bit in the settings and found this:

Facebook General Info Field

The “general info” section of your Facebook page is going away.

It seems the “General Information” section of the Facebook page is being eliminated. If you set up your page the way I did, that’s not ideal; that section is where I stored the high-level intro to my company; crucial information that really doesn’t live anywhere else on the page.

That information has a new home now, in something Facebook is calling a “story.” You can add a story to your page via the About section.

How to find the About section of your Facebook page

Where to find the About section of your Facebook page

Once you’re in “About” you’ll see a block that looks like this, where you can add a story for your page. (Once you’ve created a story, this is also where you can go to make updates.)

Facebook Page "Story"

Add a “Story” to your Facebook page

The story admin is very simple to use. (It looks almost exactly like the article edit screen on LinkedIn.) There’s space for a header image, a headline, and then a big open area for content. The content area supports the basic formatting options you’d expect… headers, bullets and links, embedded images and even a “preformatted” option if you want to display code.

Facebook Page Format Options

Hover over these icons to access more formatting options.

OK, got it. But… why?

Is this really better than the old system? I have no idea. I’m sure Facebook is making this change for… reasons. Maybe this tested better. Maybe it will create greater publishing flexibility for businesses and other page managers. Maybe it won’t work at all and they’ll roll out another new version in three months. Impossible to say, really.

But this brings me to another point:

Your Facebook page is not your web page.

Does your business need a Facebook page? Sure, probably. But in most situations, I strongly recommend having a web presence that you can control more directly, using that as the place you post most of your updates, and then feeding those updates to Facebook and other social media outlets. (Which is exactly what I’m doing with this article.)

Facebook is constantly making changes. You may like some. You may hate others. But you’ll never have much control over when and how they happen.

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