Since your feelings of envy and resentment toward those who were cashing in on the Facebook IPO have likely given way to a joyful sense of schadenfreude in light of news that shares in Zuckerberg Inc. have fallen nearly 14 percent in its second day of trading, you might have been too busy gloating to notice Facebook’s newest app to launch for iOS.
Yesterday, Facebook quietly rolled out a new app that’s specifically designed for those who manage several Pages. The aptly named Pages Manager—which is especially useful for PR guys and girls who likely have their finger on the pulse of multiple Facebook Pages— allows users to more easily post status updates and share photos without having to go through the clunky process required to access Pages in Facebook’s core app.
The real benefit of Pages Manager, however, is the mobile availability of Facebook Insights. If you manage your brand’s Facebook Page from the desktop site, you’re probably familiar with the Insights feature which allows you to see how many people your Fan Page is reaching as well as the number of people sharing your content from the page. Through Pages Manager, this valuable Insight info is available to you even when you’re on the go. You’ll also receive push notifications when someone Likes your page or Likes or comments on your posts.
If you’ve used Facebook’s core app, then it shouldn’t be a shock when you log in to Pages Manager—the design and layout are pretty much identical.
That said, Pages Manager is missing some critical features that would help make it a true mobile version of the desktop site. For example, there’s no way to view your Facebook Page’s “Home” or newsfeed page and the ability to manage messages is nonexistent. I think the jury is still out on whether some Pages features were intentionally left out in favor of simplicity or if this first release of Pages Manager is only a rough cut of what’s to come. Oh, and if you’re an Android, Blackberry or Windows Phone user, you’re out of luck for now because Facebook Pages is only available to iPhone users
Overall, I think Facebook has taken a step in the right direction with Pages Manager. While the benefits are obvious to those who monitor a half-dozen or more Facebook Pages, Pages Manager is also a great free app for folks who only manage one Page, but don’t want to log in to their personal profiles to post photos and updates.