13: Facebook Pages

(EN: Repeating this notice at the head of each chapter: the specific details of this book are likely outdated, but the core concepts of social networking are likely timeless.)

(EN: I'm hoping there are other books on the topic of FB pages specifically that go into more granular and reliable detail and give advice. The coverage here is extremely superficial.)

While Facebook originated as a medium for social interaction, there has been much interest by individuals, organizations, and the commercial sector in using it as a broadcast medium to share information in the form of "pages," which vary in composition and content to resemble single-page fact sheets or tiny Web sites inside the FB community.

A FB page can be created by anyone, about anything. Pages exist for companies and organizations, social groups, brands and products, albums and movies, social causes, web sites, and even pets or inanimate objects.

The author suggests that a page, rather than a group or an account, is appropriate when you wish to publish information about an organization or thing that does not pertain to an individual person, and/or that will not participate in the community in ways that an individual person would.

(EN: In browsing about, I notice that there are "pages" and "interests" that are different somehow. The author doesn't mention it, and as far as I can see it looks like "interests" are created by FB itself, populated with Wikipedia articles, and have no walls or other content associated to them. Also, some pages ar given as a "page" and others seem to have different titles like "sport" or "cause." The distinction is unclear and there are aspects of I may not be able to observer, and the author provides no help.)

Other Peoples' Pages

The author advises browsing FB pages to get an understanding of what they are capable of (EN: when an author advises this, it's a sign he has no intention of providing good coverage of a topic) as well as seeing if a page already exists for the very thing you want to create a page about.

Facebook has a directory (www.facebook.com/pages) that can be helpful in finding pages that exist, and pages will also appear in search results. You can also see pages that friends have created, or pages that they have liked, shared, or interacted with.

In general, the content of a page was created and can only be modified by its owner, and other members of the community are limited to being permitted to "like" or "share" the content, but not to contribute to the content otherwise, unless the author has permitted visitors to add content to a wall or comments to items that are associated to the page.

The rationale for "liking" a page or participating in activities and conversations related to one is largely to express yourself through the things you like, and to find out what other people like the same things as you.

Creating a Page

The rationale for creating a page is to consolidate information about something of interest to you rather than interspersing it with other content you place on the site, so that you can promote it to others.

Anyone can create a page on anything. There do not seem to be muiltiple pages by the same title. I do not know if this is because FB requires pages to be unique, or shows only the most popular page for a given name in search results, and the author does not say. I also suspect that where commercial interests intervene, a company wants to take ownership of pages related to its brands, FB will side with them over private fans who have created their own pages.

Creating a page is fairly simple, though finding the "create a page" link can be difficult (you have to get to a page for something else in order to see the link), but once clicked, you choose a category and choose a name.

Facebook's terms for pages are linked from the first screen in the creation process, and will change over time, but some key points are:

The author notes that he has not created a page for this book because FB has disallowed it ... it contains "Facebook" in the title, which is enforced as a general prohibition to distance FB from the pages created by users (that is, using FB in the title might mislead people to thinking FB owns the page).

Once approved, you can begin by adding an image, inviting friends, posting status updates, promoting the page on your account, setting up mobile and e-mail access to update it, etc.

You can also customize "many more" areas of the FB page. The author provides a jumble of things that can be added to a page, which seems a bit random and likely not comprehensive.

Administer a Page

The person who creates a page has administrative privileges, and can assign those privileges to other users. Administrators can:

  • Manage content of a page
  • Add/remove features and applications
  • Write a post as the "page" rather than themselves
  • Remove posts and comments from other users
  • Remove a person from the page (but they can "like" it again)
  • Permanently ban a user
  • Administrators can removing posts and comments from users, meaning that no page visitor will see them. They can remove someone who has liked the page, but they can "like" it again unless they are banned permanently.

    Page Applications

    Applications can be associated to a page without associating them to your personal account. Pages have default applications, but unlike a personal FB page, they can be removed so that a page has no wall, no discussions, etc.

    Beyond that, nothing more is said. It's unclear whether an application assigned to a page has access to the personal account info of the user who added it, though that is likely moot because they will also add the application to use it at all.

    Promote Your Page

    If you wish visitors to find your page, you will need to promote it. Users do not generally go out searching for pages to like, and while they will visit pages their friends have liked, your page will have no audience at all when you initially create it, so it will need some promotion (EN: Not much detail here, assume you go out bugging people to like it.)

    Once people have connected, you will have to keep them coming back by regularly updating the page with announcements that will appear in the news feed of people who have liked the page. Updates are similar to wall posts, but are identified as coming from the page rather than your personal account.

    Instructions for doing various things are provided by the author, but from the look of it, much has changed since the book was written and they are no longer applicable.

    (EN: As such, it's likely that if you wish to use pages, it will be necessary to consult a more recent resource for guidance.)