Almost as soon as Facebook had finished unveiling its new Timeline, marketers were abuzz about the death of Tab Applications.
I received a call earlier today from a member of our team. He wanted to know what I thought we should tell our clients, many of whom use Engage121 to develop and manage Tab applications. Are Tab applications dead? He heard the buzz.
Well, I’m not sure the buzz is correct. The death of Facebook Tab applications may be greatly exaggerated – if not premature.
So, what prompted the buzz?
Facebook’s redesign moved Tabs from a conspicuous position on the left-hand panel, readily viewable by anyone who arrives on a brand’s landing page, to almost hidden under a drop-down box on the right side of the new Page. Taken at “face” value – almost a pun there – Tabs are certainly less obvious to the user. But, I don’t think this is an effort by Facebook to kill Tab applications. That said, I also do not believe Facebook’s relocation of Tabs was unintentional.
The key to understanding what is going on here is to recognize that Facebook has made Tab applications very accessible to users through ads. As reported on “Inside Facebook”
“Advertisers can still run Facebook campaigns that drive to third-party tab applications . . . This type of ad can be used to drive traffic to promotions or commerce features within tab applications.”
Facebook is very deliberately, and carefully, redesigning the user experience to encourage marketers to pay for connecting a brand and its fans.
So, in response to the question above – are Tab applications dead? – I think the answer is probably “No.” But, applications have been monetized – by Facebook.