A new report from PageLever, taken from 500+ pages with over 10,000 fans, revealed that custom tab views were down 53% from the pre-timeline days. Their chart shows a slight decline during the period when Timeline was optional for brand pages, and a trough when Timeline became mandatory for all brand pages.
But before you start demanding that Facebook revert to its old layout, consider this – when Timeline was introduced, the ability to set a default landing tab for non-fans was removed. In my opinion, this is the biggest reason for the drop in tab views. For the majority of the brands that I managed during the pre-timeline days, most had over 50% of their tab views go to the “Welcome” tab that was built for non-fans. Pages also now have the ability to highlight posts for up to seven days, which means there is one less reason to use a tab.
PageLever did not count the wall in their calculations, but people who would have been directed to a landing tab in the old layout would now go to the wall, which is not being counted. That could also explain some of the discrepancy. Another theory floating around is that the new tab layout is not as eye-catching. Although a fan can view less tabs by default, the tabs themselves now have a large image box associated with them. There are many ways to get creative with this space, so accessibility is not really an issue in my opinion.
The bottom line is we have to make do with what we’ve got. Many people aren’t satisfied with Facebook’s new Timeline, but as online marketers, we have to adapt to the platform.