Facebook Community Pages and why Facebook introduced them

Since the 1st of April, when you hit the button to create a Facebook Page, you get a new option. "The Facebook Community Page". Naturally, Facebook didn't tell anyone about this prior to its release, and the purpose of this Community page was first thought to be a bad attempt at an April Fools day joke.

Since the 1st of April, when you hit the button to create a Facebook Page, you get a new option. “The Facebook Community Page”. Naturally, Facebook didn’t tell anyone about this prior to its release, and the purpose of this Community page was first thought to be a bad attempt at an April Fools day joke.

You can read some other people’s thoughts about it here and here.

Luckily and sadly enough this was not the case. So what on gods earth would justify the addition of another type of page. We have previously been confused by what the difference really is between a Facebook Page, a Facebook Fan Page and a Facebook Group. This is what Facebook says about the whole ordeal:

Generate support for your favorite cause or topic by creating a Community Page. If it becomes very popular (attracting thousands of fans), it will be adopted and maintained by the Facebook community.

This is how Facebook Community Pages work

Well, they work EXACTLY like Fan pages. I have tried to create a dozen or so of them, I have worked with creating duplicate names and I have busted all my vision on trying to understand what the heck the difference is. I suppose it is yet to come. I guess I’ll have to be engaging enough to summon a million fans in order to see what happens when you reach the limit for when the crowdsourcing action kicks in.

Thus, NOTHING new to learn and so if you’ve read my tutorials on how to Create fan pages, you are good to go with the community pages.

Some other reasons why Facebook is doing this

One thing is guaranteed. They are not doing this for the users. They are doing this so that they can reach some kind of internal goal. If we are looking at other changes such as making indexable fan pages and their internal link structure as well as their difficulties in managing clients. Well, then I get a short list of reasons:

  1. The wiki type of pages will make Facebook Pages more content rich and accurate and thus rank better in the search engines
  2. More niche pages within the same cluster such as “Coke Can Collectors” and “Texas Hold’em Players” combined with the official pages creates semantic clustering possibilities that are HUGE
  3. Facebook has said they will implement better stats on their pages, I suppose they will create some kind of premium in the Fan Page option for this
  4. Facebook might be pondering on removing Groups as an option – As they have the patent on News Feeds, they are surely likely to move more towards open news feed solutions rather than closed group solutions
  5. They had an April Fools day party and then they were too hung over on the 2nd to remove the “joke” and as it had spread through the word-of-web they were stuck with something, not even they understood the purpose of

Facebook gets Greedy

We haven’t seen any implications of this just yet, but I guess the main reason for creating a new type of pages is to be able to charge for the “real fan pages” without creating that much disturbance. Facebook writes:

Generate support for your favorite cause or topic by creating a Community Page. If it becomes very popular (attracting thousands of fans), it will be adopted and maintained by the Facebook community.

Can you see the “word of caution” and the “social promise” in those lines? Well, basically this tells brands that they should continue creating fan pages whilst people making pages for light houses and street bumps should start creating community pages.

Community Pages is the Facebook Wiki

I foresee that Facebook will announce to all they will start charging for Fan pages within a month or two. Oh yes, there are idiot companies out there already paying money to have their Facebook page, but most of them will be hit with a broadside. The companies will say YES as they don’t want to put their brand onto the new type of “Facebook Wiki” that is going to be the result of the Fan pages.

Although we have all scratched our heads wondering why admins of a page have to become a logo when they reply. A problem which clearly would be solved with a wiki kind of approach. But no, they do not create ONE ultimate entity, but create one for each purpose. I suppose they have entrepreneurial people in charge. I would love to see what their DB-structure looks like with all these add-ons… haha…

Anyhow. Here is a list of changes we would like to see Facebook undergoing before they start charging for Pages:

  1. Company Employee Profiles – A profile that you can log in to that is attached to the company fan page but where you don’t have to be connected to your vacation images.
  2. Reply in person – A private reply on a wall post. Transparency is good but if you’re working with campaigns it would be highly useful to be able to work with hidden and individual promo codes. Also, those of us who have worked with FB-pages for a while have seen a few suicidal notes flash by. I would like to be able to respond to those, but I do not want to become friends with the person to message them, nor do I want the page to see the message I send to the person. I neither want to delete the message as that might trigger some kind of action. However, that’s an extreme, but there are other reasons why I would want to be able to reply privately yet have a note saying “Page Name has replied to this post”.
  3. Full integration with Google Analytics, Omniture Site Catalyst and Webtrends
  4. A CPO Ad possibility where I can pay Facebook when I get conversion from the traffic
  5. Standard App plugin where I can hook up an campaign, a newsletter sign up, a blog, or similar with the “post to wall” and “comments” features – BY ONLY CLICKING ONE BUTTON – that would be nice ehy!

There are plenty more, but they’ll have to bring home these ones first. I am actually building a bridge between Facebook Applications and some standard functionality as we speak. It will take some time and someone will probably beat me to the punch, but it is still worth shooting for. I think I’ll name it the “Facebook Application Application” just to continue in the path of confusion that Facebook has set forth with their new Community Pages.

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