If you manage a Facebook business Page, you likely noticed a change earlier this month in how you’re able to access and interact with Page content and other Pages when acting in a business capacity. Basically, you can’t log-in as a Page anymore. Well, you can, but the system's been changed to keep you logged in under your personal profile, as opposed to switching between entities (and worth noting, some users have had these changes in place for months, but they were rolled out more widely in the last couple of weeks).
It used to be that when you went to your Facebook profile and you wanted to switch accounts, you could just go to the top right drop-down menu, switch to your Page and you’d be logged in as that Page, instead of your personal profile. Not anymore – as you can see from the below screenshot, when I go to the Social Media Today Page, I’m still logged in as myself, as opposed to switching to the SMT account.
See, too, in the status update option (at the bottom), it switches to SMT by default – so when I actually do compose a post here, it’ll show up under the SMT profile, not my own, but accessing the Page’s News Feed is not an immediately obvious option and Liking/commenting on other Pages will default to my profile as opposed to SMT.
It’s important to note here that Page Admins have not lost access to any functionality as a result of the change, but the process of actually doing these things is different. So while it’s not immediately obvious where and how you access all the regular functions, they are still there.
Here’s where they’re hiding.
To view the News Feed for your Page – the content from the Pages you’ve liked as your Page, not as yourself – you now need to click on this option in your Page function panel on the left.
From here you can see all the content served to the Page’s News Feed, as well as a listing of all the Pages Liked by the Page.
If you want to Like other businesses Pages as your Page, instead of under your personal profile, you need to go to the Page you’re interested in then click the three dots at the bottom right of the header image.
Once clicked, you’ll be given the option to Like the Page as any of the Pages which you’re an administrator of, ensuring that Page’s content shows up in your Page News Feed and is listed as a Page liked by your own.
And the final significant element affected by this recent update is the ability to Like and comment as a Page. To do this, you simply select the drop-down menu attached to the profile image on any post and choose which Page you’d like to post a comment as.
So as you can see, the functionality you’ve always had remains, you just need to access it a little differently. Which can be annoying, especially, as we all develop routines and habits around such functionalities (the Facebook help forums are currently loaded with questions and comments from Page admins who’re upset about this issue). But as noted, it’s important to underline that no functionality has been lost in this update. Everything you used to be able to do under the old Page login system, you can still do. You’ll just need to re-adjust your process.
The other alternative is to connect any Page you administer to Facebook for Business, Facebook’s free business management tool that separates out all the various Facebook admin elements – ads, Page access, role administration. Through Facebook for Business, you can access your business Page as a separate entity from your personal profile, making it a little easier to manage the Page admin changes as you’re effectively switching over and logging in as a Page, similar to the old system.
It doesn’t completely alleviate the issues you may be having, but it might make it a bit easier to stay on top of all the Page details. Sentiment around Facebook for Business varies widely – the only way to know whether it’s for you is to try it out. If you don’t like it, you can easily disconnect your Page from the tool also.
We’ve reached out to Facebook for an official explanation but we’ve received nothing as yet (we’ll update if we do), but the change could be geared around pushing more people to Like more Pages under their personal profiles, as opposed to business Pages. Facebook’s reportedly seen a significant decrease in personal updates on the platform of late. According to data published by The Information, overall sharing fell 5.5% between mid-2014 and mid-2015, with sharing of personal posts — i.e. people's own thoughts and photos — falling 21% during that period. It could be that by making it harder to Like Pages as a business, and access the Page News Feed, maybe that’ll inspire more people to interact more via their own Pages. Maybe?
Facebook may also be pushing users towards their Facebook for Business platform to boost user take-up of that option – the benefit being that Facebook’s ad options are more easily accessible and manageable via the business tool, which could boost ad take-up.
The other common problem Facebook may be looking to address is the confusion some users have when switching between accounts and posting as different entities – you log on as your Page then you absentmindedly search for another Page and go to comment, and when you do, you’ve posted as comment as your Page, as opposed to yourself. Maybe, by adding an extra step to commenting, it’ll force users to be more aware of which account they’re posting as and help avoid such instances.
Without definitive clarification from Facebook, it’s hard to say why, exactly, the changes have been put in place. But either way, they have been put in place, this is how the system works now, and Page owners will just have to deal with it. It might be frustrating at first, but the alternatives are relatively simple to access and it won’t take long till you’ve adjusted to the new process.
UPDATE: Facebook responded to our request, though only to confirm the change had been put into effect, not why. Here's their response:
"We've deprecated the ability to login and use Facebook as the Page you manage. However, we've built parallel features to enable you to do all of the same things you could previously do, without requiring you to use Facebook as your Page.
Using Business Manager is one great option. The following link will instruct you on how to set up Business Manager. http://bit.ly/23W3cwC
If you would rather not go that route, this article from our Help Center describes how to post, like or comment as your Page: http://bit.ly/23W3d3L."