So all day today I’ve been reading posts about how the changes to the Facebook business pages, wherein the tabs were de-emphasized and the timeline became a requirement, have destroyed an entire industry, namely that of agencies and design firms who charged a lot of money to build and maintain Facebook landing pages for their clients. Here’s one from Fortune, here’s another from Geoff Livingston.
This surprises you? Really? I’ve been a digital professional a loooong time (> 20 years), and one thing I’ve learned is that tools change. A lot. And often. And on a whim. Standards shift, strategies change, business models come and go. I cannot sympathize with a model that says you should build an entire business around the whims and trends of a mercurial software company, no matter how large. Developing an expertise in Facebook design as a component of the servies you offer makes total sense. Assigning an FTE to monitor, track, prepare for, and execute against evolving functionality makes more sense. Being experts in a particular technology is always good. But if your entire business is building landing pages around the Facebook Tabs feature, you’re gonna pay at some point.
Features change. If you hook your wagon to them, be prepared to be unceremoniously UNhooked somewhere down the road, and without your consent. To be honest, I’ve never been particularly enamored of building big marketing plans around platforms–you cede too much control over the success of your business to the purveyors of said platforms.