Facebook recently started notifying Page administrators that it will be removing the Discussions tab from all Pages on October 31, 2011. The Discussion app, also known as Discussion Boards, allows Pages to host a basic forum.
Apparently, Facebook prefers that everyone just use the Wall, according to a screenshot (above) obtained by KarthikK. I've transcribed it for you here:
We're Making Pages Better
We want to make sure the tools you use to manage your page are as effective as possible. Here are some updates about how you connection with your audience:
- Discussions: The Best way to encourage conversation and feedback is through posts and comments on your wall. To focus on this we'll be removing the Discussions app on October 31st. Learn more
The "Learn more" link sends you to the Facebook Help Center question "What happened to the Reviews and Discussions tabs on my Facebook Page?" Here's the answer, which confirms Page administrators can no longer install the app:
We've found that the best way to encourage conversation and feedback is through posts and comments on your Wall. We've removed these tabs for now as we work on tools to help you moderate and filter content. Our goal is to help you can manage everything from one powerful place. Stay tuned.
On place pages with a location, fans can still write a recommendation for their friends or others from the right-column that says Recommendations.
Facebook rolled out the Discussion Boards app alongside Pages years ago. It was mainly meant to facilitate longer-form discussions about different topics on a given Page. At its peak in December 2010, the app had as many as 55 million monthly active users, according to App Data. Now this number is at some 22 million active users.
The social networking giant has obviously noticed the decline and has decided to take action. Having all discussions limited a Page's wall will mean much more confusion, although possibility more visibility.
I would bet that the Discussions tab is not picked up by the newly launched Ticker and the upcoming Timeline and Open Graph rollout. Walls on Pages are, however, and so Facebook has decided to just kill Discussions instead of updating the app so that it works with other updates to the service.
On the other hand, Facebook's plan to delete old conversations could anger some users and Page administrators, especially if they had important conversations on it. Furthermore, Facebook doesn't seem to be planning to offer a way to export content from the app before it's killed.
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