Missing Facebook Recommendation Box on Business Page Work-Around

Missing Facebook Recommendation Box on Business Page Work-Around Header Image

Recently, many businesses have lost their “Recommendations” Box on our Facebook Business / Place Pages. Home PC Patrol is one of those businesses, and we thought we'd see what we could do to find a solution and dispel some of the rumors. The issue appears to be widespread, but to ease your fears a little bit we have found that while you may not be able to see your Recommendations Box, it is not gone.

Facebook has not replaced the Recommendations widget with the ‘Suggest [Your Business] to Your Friends’ widget, and has NOT discontinued the feature. It does not 'only affect users who are not paying for advertisements' and it does not matter what route (favorite, shortcut, link from personal page, etc) you took to get to your page. For many people it is just 'gone' and the cause has yet to be determined; however, with no official response from Facebook, many users are feeling quite hopeless.

Early yesterday, we got our first glimmer of hope when we discovered that our recommendations were still visible on Android tablets as well as Kindle Fire so we began investigating the issue further. Currently, some Android tablets and Kindle Fires’ are the only devices we can confirm display the recommendations properly; however, we have tested many other devices, browsers, and operating systems and those results can be seen at the end of this article.

We even found a work-around so you can see them on your current PC. Home PC Patrol found this work-around while testing various browser and add-on configurations. We went to Facebook using the most recent version of Mozilla's Firefox web browser with the NoScript browser extension installed.

We expected to find the same absence of a Recommendations box as we had encountered on nearly every other browser / add-on combination we had tried; but to our surprise, we noticed a notice a cream colored information bar at the top of the Facebook page that displayed the message “For a better experience on Facebook, enable JavaScript in your browser or switch to our mobile site.”

We followed the link to the mobile optimized version of Facebook, loaded up our business site and found the the thing that would brighten our day... a link to our missing Recommendations! After spending several days nauseously worrying that all of our customer's recommendations were gone forever, this was a huge relief and we thought we should share the information with all of the users effected by this bug.

While following this issue on the many, many Facebook help forum threads, Home PC Patrol has found that one of the biggest fears (in addition to the box not showing) is that multitudes of Recommendations are simply lost with no record of them ever existing. While we can’t (currently) provide steps to restore the missing recommendations box / widget to your page; we have discovered steps that will allow you to view your recommendations on your current PC (and presumably Mac) and allow you to back them up in a number of ways.

You can even use these steps to generate a link that you can feature on your page, that will allow visitors (who are logged into Facebook) to see your current Recommendations and post new recommendations of their own.
The following instructions provide a relatively simple, alternate browsing solution that will allow you to view and backup your current Recommendations as well as generate a link that will allow your current users to both view and post recommendations. There are certainly other ways to achieve the same results; however, we found this to be the simplest way to accomplish this without disrupting normal web browsing in your default web browser.

1. If you currently use Internet Explorer or Firefox, this is going to be relatively simple. If you use the Opera browser, it will work for the first part of this tutorial; however, you will not be able to generate the proper links to your Recommendations section once we find it again; so we recommend you do not use it. It’s important to note that this process will NOT work if you are using Chrome or Safari as they seem to use a different handling system for the mobile pages.

If you are a PC user and typically use Chrome, Opera or Safari, you can use any version of Internet Explorer version 7.0 or higher (it’s already on your PC). If you can’t find the shortcut on your desktop, taskbar, or in your start menu programs list, you can always run it manually by double clicking the iexploer.exe located in C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe.

If you are a Mac user, you probably browse the internet using their Safari browser. In your case, you will need to download Firefox for the Mac at the following link: http://download.mozilla.org/?product=firefox-22.0&os=osx&lang=en-US .

Note: On the initial Firefox Setup screen, you will notice a check box in the bottom left-hand corner that says “Make Firefox my default browser”; as we are setting up Firefox specifically to be an alternate browser to address this issue, we recommend that you uncheck this box. Doing so will leave your current browser set as the default and will not affect its settings.

After the program is installed, you will be presented with a new window that asks if you would like to import settings and favorites from your other browser. While you may be tempted to do so, please remember that these instructions are based off the user choosing ‘Do not import settings from other browsers’.

Image 1: Mobile Facebook Log In Screen
Image 1: Mobile Facebook Log In Screen
2. In Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Opera, copy (or type) the following address https://m.Facebook.com and paste it into your browser’s address bar and hit enter (or return). After you hit enter, your browser will load the Facebook Log In page As seen in the following image (Image 1.). You could log in now; however, we are going to be adding some text to the address bar to get us to our business page, and you will find that easier to do on this screen with the very short https://m.Facebook.com address than it will be after you log in and the address gets much longer (Facebook uses a very long string of characters to identify the page as yours in the address bar, trust me on this…don’t log in yet).

3. While still on that initial Facebook Log In page, WITHOUT logging in, you will see the following in the address bar at the top of the page: https://m.Facebook.com . Move your mouse to just past the ‘m’ in ‘.com’ and click once and the entire address will become highlighted in blue. Click a second time and you will notice that the address is no longer highlighted and a flashing cursor has appeared at the end of the address immediately following the ‘m’.

Without clicking anywhere else, type the forward slash (the one on the question mark key) followed by your company name as it appears on your regular Facebook business page. For instance, my regular Facebook page for my business is https://www.Facebook.com/homepcpatrol, so I will be adding “/homepcpatrol” to the current address making it https://m.Facebook.com/homepcpatrol . Hit enter after you finish typing your business name and it will load the mobile version of your business page.

Image 2: Mobile Facebook Business Page
Image 2: Mobile Facebook Business Page
4. You are now on the mobile version of your business page, similar to the page shown in the image to the left (Image 2.). Click the Log In button and it will take you back to that simple Facebook Log In page we saw earlier. Now, you can log in. Type your Facebook username in the top text field labeled “Email or Phone”, then enter your password in the text field labeled (you guessed it) “Password”. Directly under the “Password” field is a large blue “Log In” button. Click the Log In button as seen in image 3. below, and you will immediately be returned to your business page only this time, you will be logged in.

Image 3: Log In Screen
Image 3: Log In Screen

Image 4: Recommendations!
Image 4: Recommendations!
5. Now that you are officially logged in and on the mobile version of your Facebook Business Page, you will see your company’s profile picture and name followed by the “Short Description” of your business. Under that you are going to see three blue links “About”, “Photos” and (drum roll please)…“Recommendations”!

If you are even half as excited as I was to see even the link to your recommendations, you are probably grinning from ear to ear right now, but wait, it gets better.

6. If you click on the Recommendations link it is going to open a page that shows all of the Recommendations you have received from people on your friends list. If you are using Firefox or Internet Explorer, you will notice it appended some additional characters to the end of your business page’s address. For instance, in my case https://m.facebook.com/homepcpatrol?v=tips&refid=17 brings up the mobile version of my Recommendations box / widget showing recommendations from my friends by default.

Note: By default, Opera removes the additional characters and shortens the address back to just https://m.facebook.com/[yourbusinessname] so there is no way to designate or differentiate specific Recommendation landing pages. This is why we recommend you do not use Opera for this process.

Image 5: Recommendations Page
Image 5: Recommendations Page
7. At the top of the page is a large text field where people can write new recommendations for your business, and yes, it still functions properly and adds new recommendations to your existing recommendations.

Below that you will see the Privacy setting for your Recommendations most likely displayed as “Privacy: Public”. Just below that you will see two, plain text links “Friends” and “Everyone”. Click on the “Everyone” link and it will load a new page that lists the 10 most recent recommendations made on your business page.

Image 6: See More Recommendations
Image 6: See More Recommendations
8. You will also notice that Facebook has appended even more characters to your Business Page’s web address. Home PC Patrol’s now looks like this: https://m.facebook.com/homepcpatrol?v=tips&filter=1&refid=17. THIS is the link that you will want to copy and feature on your Facebook Business Page until such a time as they get this problem resolved, or until we here at Home PC Patrol figure out our own solution, or at least the cause. To view the next set of 10 recommendations, click the “See More Recommendations” link directly below the last recommendation on the page and it will load the next ten recommendations. You may want to follow the instructions in step 9 before navigating away from the first page of recommendations if you would like to keep a backup for your archives.

Image 7: Save your Recommendations
Image 7: Save your Recommendations
9. While you have this page up you can save it for future reference, or just as a backup. Keep in mind when you save a web page in the manner I am going to describe, you only save what is visible on the page when you save it.

If you used Internet Explorer to reach your Recommendations page, click on the File menu in the upper left hand corner of the page and choose “Save as…” from the menu, give the current page a name and select “Web Archive, single file (*.mht)” and hit “Save”. You will need to repeat this process for each new set of 10 recommendations you load, simply append a number to the file name each time so you don’t overwrite the previous save.

If you used Firefox to find your missing Recommendations page, you can save the page by clicking on the File menu in the upper left hand corner of the page and choosing “Save Page As…” from the menu, give the current page a name and select “Web Page, complete (*.htm;*.html)” and hit “Save”. Just like with Internet Explorer, simply change the file name slightly for each new save.

Well, that’s it. It isn’t perfect, but it’s a lot more than I had yesterday morning! If you want to keep using recommendations on your page while we wait for an official fix, simply copy the address to your mobile recommendations page as described in step 8, paste it into a status post, and highlight that post on your page.

As promised, here is the current list of devices, operating systems, and web browsers that we have tried to troubleshoot this issue on as well as the results:

  • iPods mixed report some yes, some no (presumably depends on generation
  • iPhones reportedly did not work
  • iPad was untested so far
  • MacBook untested
  • Android Tablet WORKS! (Some configurations have been reported as not working now)
  • Android phone reportedly does not work through browser, some say the App works.
  • Kindle Fire WORKS!
  • Windows 7 Desktop (IE10, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Chrome) did not work
  • Windows Vista Desktop (IE8, Chrome) did not work
  • Windows XP Desktop (IE9, Chrome) did not work
  • Windows 7 Tablet (IE9, Chrome) dids not work
  • Windows 8 Laptop (IE10 via Desktop, IE10 Metro Start Screen App) did not work

We will try to keep this list updated as more information comes in.