Facebook has quietly rolled out Facebook Pages Manager, a new application to enable businesses to update their Facebook Page (with both text and images), receive push notifications of Page activity, view the admins on the page and have a quick snapshot at the Insights (Facebook analytics). All from the comfort of their iPhone or iPad.
Page owners were alerted to the Facebook Pages Manager when checking the site from a Facebook app, and after quickly installing the app (which is small enough that it can be done on 3G) were able to login using their existing Facebook details.
Once logged in, Page owners were presented with a stripped down Facebook version that lets them juggle between multiple Pages easily but none of the other Facebook features (such as access to their personal profile, news feed, search and similar). It is simply a way to update a Page on the go, respond promptly to a Facebook community and get a glimpse of how the Page is performing.
When the user has selected an individual Page to manage, they can choose to view posts just by the Page, just by users or by both (the same options available on the web version). What is a bit special is the additional functionality to moderate the Page from within the app, so Page owners can delete individual comments within a post, ban users, hide a wall post and so on.
Facebook Pages Manager will send users push notifications when there is new activity on the Page, which if the user pro-actively manages and engages with their Facebook community is useful. It also shows who the new people are that have Liked the page (which the web version doesn’t do).
What Facebook Pages Manager is lacking at this early stage is the ability to read and respond to messages sent to the Page – something that was only introduced to Pages with the roll-out of Timeline at the end of March. Additionally, the Insights feature is very basic – there is no ability to drill down into set periods of time, or view more specific information on any element of the metrics.
Overall, Facebook Pages Manager is an exciting and much needed addition for Page owners. It offers a lot of added value, such as being able to respond better to the audience and / or moderate in real time as well as being able to update engage in real-time with pictures and commentary whilst on the move or away from the desk.
Rachel Hawkes is an account director at communications consultancy Elemental @elementalcomms.