Facebook's New Solution For Unofficial Pages: Community Pages

Community Page IconWant to set up a Facebook Page for “Pillow Fighting” or “Tatoos”? Previously, Facebook would simply shut down the Page or remove publishing permissions from the Page administrator. Now Facebook is suggesting that users create a “Community Page” when the page isn’t for a company, brand, or public figure, as well as when they are not an official spokesperson for that organization.

Prior to the release of “Community Pages”, Facebook had to constantly monitor Pages that were not created on behalf of official organizations. It became a game for many individuals to come up with Pages that would instantly attract millions of users, however organizations were getting frustrated when a Facebook user created a brand page on behalf of them.

In such cases, Facebook has removed administrator privileges from the user and given it to the brands. However, when the Page wasn’t for brands, some of the topics became instantly popular. For example, the “I ? SLEEP” Page now has over 5 million fans. Facebook doesn’t want administrators using these pages as a tool for spamming tools however so what they’ve decided to do is classify popular generic pages as “Community Pages”.

As Facebook states (pictured below):

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

There are two important aspects of this new distinction. The first is that this new “Community Page” classification reduces the amount of effort Facebook needs to put in to policing the pages. The second is that Facebook continues to reap the SEO benefit of having these Pages created while blocking spam. While your publishing rights will be removed at a certain point, this is the new mechanism Facebook has in place to ensure that you understand what will happen if your Page happens to become popular and you aren’t an official spokesperson for the company or group.

As Facebook has come to realize that the users want to use Pages as a general “community platform” to socialize ideas and causes, they’ve decided to enable users to essentially create their own “Unofficial Pages”. Users can then meet other users who have similar ideas and interests. One strange distinction is the difference between Pages and groups. Facebook states that groups are for “professional interests or hobbies” whereas community Pages are for “causes and topics”. I’m not sure users will understand (or even care) about this distinction.

If my own opinion, this new form of “Community Pages” is pretty much identical to the idea behind Ning, except that it’s a different technical platform, and your publishing rights will be removed if the community becomes popular. Do you interact with unofficial Facebook Pages already? What benefit do you think there is from having this distinction?

Update
This is not April Fools as far as we know. You can view it for yourself.

New Facebook Page Creation Screenshot

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