Facebook tabs or Facebook’s application tabs are new addition to the Facebook customer engagement toolset. Facebook has added this new feature at the cost of its box feature, which was one of the most used features on the website, especially by the emerging bands. Box feature was used to showcase third-party content on the profile page. People used this feature to include their tweets, blog posts, forum posts, list of books they have read, their favorite music etc. All this is gone from the profile page, now and instead we have application tabs.
Box v/s application tabs
Application tabs function more or less like the box feature of Facebook, but with one major shortcoming. The third-party content that we published in a box was visible in the sidebar of our profile pages, on the left-hand side. We did not have to do anything to access it. It was always there on the profile page, right in front of us. This is not so with application tabs.
Each third-party application that you will add in a tab could be accessed by clicking one or more times because the applications will be hidden inside their individual tabs, and if you have too many applications then you will need to first click more button (>>).
With this inclusion, Facebook has tried to mimic a web browser. The working of Facebook’s application tabs feature is similar to that of the tab feature in browsers like Chrome, Firefox, or Opera.
What is the implication?
This change will have a significant effect on the way you organize third-party content in Facebook, and it will also have significant effect on the way you show stuffs to your friends and fans. For example, if you use any restaurant review application to write reviews on restaurants in your city then you would have chosen to display that review in a box on your profile page, in a prominent position. Earlier you had this option to keep your reviews glued to your profile page, using the box feature, which a visitor to your profile or wall could see.
The same review, because of the replacement, will now be shifted under an application tab, which cannot be viewed until someone actively decides to see it. This will be a major loss for anyone who works in “idea industry”. Such people will be greatly affected; be it musicians, reviewers, writers, poets, journalists, or actors.
How to use Facebook tabs?
As the change has already been made, we need to learn to use it. At present, not many third-party applications are available to display in application tabs, but you can add the ones that are available by going to your profile page and clicking the “add a new tab” link (the + sign) that appears at the end of the row containing Wall, Info, Photos, etc. Select a tab of your choice from the dropped down menu. You can also search for a tab by entering keywords in the box below “Search available tabs.”
In the process of exploring Facebook’s application tabs feature, I stumbled upon tabfusion. This service allows you to add some pretty neat tabs to your profile pages and fan pages. Although tabfusion is free to use in a profile page, it charges a small annual fee for a fan page.
At the time of writing, tabfusion allows you to add your blogs, Flickr, twitter, YouTube, and Smugmug accounts, etc. You can also showcase your portfolio using tabfusion’s Folio application. tabfusion has an application for musicians as well. Its Music application allows bands and musicians to display their music in a tab in their profiles.
As of now, you can only add tabs of applications that you use on the Facebook, but soon all kinds of tabs will be available to use.
What to expect?
Facebook has a Midas touch. Whatever Facebook touches it turns that to gold. We may feel a little miffed by Facebook’s decision to do away with boxes to include application tabs feature, but once we get over with the dejection, we will see the merit in this move.
In time to come, Facebook will become a hub under which all our web activities will come together. We will be able to do everything that we currently do, without opening too many browser tabs and logging into each of the accounts separately. I am optimistic about this development because I see integration of all the web-based technology, in time to come.