Facebook Creates New Kind of “Unofficial” Community Pages

So many people have been creating unofficial Facebook Pages that the company has a new version of the feature available for them today, called “Community Pages.”

Facebook wants businesses, other organizations, public figures and other “official” entities owning their own pages. But, since the Pages launched as a feature of the site a couple years ago, how do we say… non-representatives of these entities have been making Pages on their own.

Facebook regularly takes Pages away from these people and gives them to the rightful owners, which is one reason why you might see certain slow-growing Pages gain thousands of fans overnight. Other times, it just shuts them down. Unlike domain squatting on the open web, Facebook doesn’t allow first come, first serve Page creation. It wants authorized Page owners actively doing things like interacting with users, spending on advertising, etc.

Meanwhile, lots of other people have used Pages for a variety of things, apart from any “official” usage. You can check out some of the more amusing examples over on our independent PageData tracking service. Note that the top non-official Page we’re tracking is “I dont care about your farm, or your fish, or your park, or your mafia!!!” It has 5.82 million fans, and is in 10th place in our rankings overall behind Pages for big social games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars.

Here’s how Facebook describes the purpose of Community Pages on the site:

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.

More:

We’ve seen all the creative ways our users have used the product to capture the causes, topics and ideas that they care about. So we’ve created Community Pages to give our users opportunities to express their enthusiasm and creativity, while allowing for Official Pages to continue representing official entities such as businesses, bands and public figures.

Groups on Facebook serve a different purpose from Community Pages and are for communicating with other Facebook users around professional interests and hobbies.  We expect that with the launch of Community Pages, where potentially thousands of people will be connecting, Groups offer a much more intimate setting for discussion and collaboration.

Facebook hasn’t explained clearly what it means when it says “adopted and maintained by the Facebook community.” When we asked, Facebook only told us that “if, over time, it gains a large fanbase, it will be adopted by the community and it will not have one specific owner.”

What about Groups? Before Pages, they were the main way that people created funny memes for self expression or to share with their Facebook friends. The main differences today: Groups can have various privacy settings while Pages are public; Group owners can’t message members if it has more than 5,000 people; Pages provide more customizable options, designed for marketers; Pages include the Insights analytics tool; because Pages are public, information in them appears in search results (Community Pages are another way, then, that Facebook can get more content in search engines while maintaining its goals for Official Pages). For in-depth details on how different Facebook tools can fit into your marketing strategy, see our Facebook Marketing Bible.

We’ll update with more details on Community Pages as they become available.

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Leave a Reply

14 Responses to “Facebook Creates New Kind of “Unofficial” Community Pages”

  1. Arvindh says:

    Hey!

    I’m from India and I do Social Media Centric Online Reputation Management for Indian Brands. I was discussing about the very same issue two days ago with a couple of friends and we arrived at a very similar solution!

    I love the way you update all this info so quickly. Thanks a lot!

    Also, how do you get the additional info? Is there some way I could contact Facebook too? Please do let me know!

  2. or kut says:

    “Communities” are groups in Orkut that are very popular in both india and brazil. Facebook has been unable to make way here where strangers share ideas on common interest. Currently groups app http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/?sk=2361831622 is nothing but waste. If only it could list all discussion topics on groups i belong.

  3. iPhone Application Developer says:

    It’s good that if community page get popular so it will be adopted and maintained by facebook community. Thanks for the update.

  4. Facebook Community Pages: beloved by users, despised by brand managers says:

    [...] to Inside Facebook, the social platform apparently said it will adopt and maintain any Facebook community or Community [...]

  5. Keli pamąstymai, ko FACEBOOK‘as siekia su „Community pages“ | Komunikacija FACEBOOK'e says:

    [...] vakar plačiajame internete pasirodė informacija, jog FACEBOOK‘as paleidžia naują FANŲ PUSLAPIŲ tipą, tai „Community pages“. Būtent apie tai – šiame tinklaraščio [...]

  6. Sam Munro says:

    As always, Only time will tell

  7. Jimi Bostock says:

    It is all getting quite confusing.

    FaceBook needs to look at consolidating things into personal profiles and org pages.

    Jimi Bostock
    PUSH Agency
    Brisbane | Canberra | Sydney | Australia
    pushagency.net

  8. Lara Solomon says:

    Is the only difference between a ‘community page’ and a regular ‘page’ the name that Facebook are using? I’ve had a look and you seem to have the same functionality… would love more info to save me looking it up :)

  9. FACEBOOK naujienos ir patarimai #34 | Komunikacija FACEBOOK'e says:

    [...] „Community pages“ – kol kas apie juos daug informacijos nėra, tačiau aišku viena: FACEBOOK‘as nori atsijoti tikruosius prekinių ženklų reprezentuotojus ir jiems palikti esamą fanų puslapių modulį, o visokiom iniciatyvom ir buvo sukurtas „Community pages“  tipas. Kol yra nedaug informacijos apie tai ir laukiam oficialaus FACEBOOK pranešimo, skaitome įvairių portalų vartotojų komentarus, kuriuose jie rašo, jog FB‘as rengia dar kelis FANŲ puslapių tipus, o kaip bus iš tikrųjų, patys artimiausiu metu pamatysime. Tuo pačiu vienas įrašiukas apie galimą „Community pages“ pritaikymą. [...]

  10. Michaela says:

    Does anybody know what will happen with existing pages that are generic? Can facebook take away the admin rights anytime now? Or does this rule only apply for newly created pages?

  11. Top Likes – off-the-radar virality? « j.lowe says:

    [...] such as “I dont care about your farm, or your fish, or your park, or your mafia!!!”, that Facebook was encouraging users to turn into Community Pages in order to reserve Fan Pages for official [...]

  12. Mike Templeton says:

    Since Facebook’s rollout of Community Pages and the way they are generating new pages based on user profile information, my employer (Kum & Go) has seen at least 5-6 new pages emerge. Any idea as to how we can work to have these pages consolidated? It’s not helping our brand when there are 10-12 different pages on Facebook with our company name attached to them.

  13. An Bui, DocuSign Social Media says:

    I have the same question as Mike – we’re growing community pages seemingly overnight and I have no way to manage and track all of the activity. It’s great that we have people so passionate about electronic signature from DocuSign as well as DocuSign itself. I also worry that I’ll miss opportunities to answer questions or help people who are looking for information from DocuSign – they may not get the help they want.

    Any ideas?

  14. Facebook. I wish I had 500 million friends. « Austinramfan's Blog says:

    [...] support the argument against Facebook being able to create Discourse Communities. Eric Eldon from insidefacebook.com writes how Facebook has created new community pages. He says that groups are made on Facebook as a [...]

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