First Look: Reduced Facebook Tabs

12th Aug, 2010

After almost 9 months of speculation Facebook finally allowed developers to see the new look, reduced size custom tabs. Since late last year Facebook have been warning developers the size of custom tabs would reduce from 760px in width to 520px. No reason was given as to why and I feared it was to increase the advertising space and revenues for Facebook.

I have just seen the new look layout of the custom tabs and I have to say I broadly like the new look. Previously custom tabs felt disconnected from the Wall. But it would seem that is about to change and the new look custom tabs includes the wall logo carried through them. Just look at this example below.

This image is from my own test page where I try out new tricks and apps on Facebook, and is no way affiliated to Neworld.

As you can see from the above screen-shot for a custom tab called ‘photos 2′, the wall image has been introduced on the left hand side. The ‘play’ logo has been displaced from the centre, so the original image has been shifted to the right. The column on the right is where Facebook advertising would normally go. As a page admin this space is used by Facebook to try and sell me advertising space to promote the page. So the new custom tab content has to fit between the page logo on the left and the vertical gray bar on the right.

I was worried about this change in size and what it would actually mean to custom tabs. On the one hand it means the wall image will carry through almost all pages, but on the other it means less space for content as it will have to fit between the image on the left and the advertising on the right.

It is a step in the right direction, considering what Facebook could of done with the space. However, it does put more of a focus on the wall logo image. Remember 200px by 600px is the size allowed by Facebook, and many companies don’t use this, so I can only imagine small logos will lead to column of white space on the left hand size of each page.

So what do you think of the new facebook custom tab size, does it make things easier or harder?

* Oh and Bay Spa Tramore are not a Client of Neworld, but a great place to visit in Tramore, Co. Waterford. Pop in and check them out if you’re in the area.