Changes Afoot at Facebook

Thumbs UpThis is a big week for Facebook news:

1. First, Facebook has changed some terminology relating to Pages. You no longer “Become A Fan” of a Page, but you are able to “Like” it. Facebook’s Help Center explains the reason for the transition:

To improve your experience and promote consistency across the site, we’ve changed the language for Pages from ‘Fan’ to ‘Like.’ We believe this change offers you a more light-weight and standard way to connect with people, things and topics in which you are interested.

I’m not sure how I feel about this change. I wasn’t fond of the “Fan” terminology because it wasn’t always accurate; “Like” isn’t always completely appropriate either, though.

2. Facebook Pages were originally intended to be for brands, businesses, organizations, celebrities, etc. — not for generic things such as causes, interests or topics. Community Pages were launched earlier this month to offer a distinction between the two.

Once a Community Page gets popular (i.e., it acquires thousands of fans), administration is then handed over to the Facebook community rather than kept by the person who had initiated the page.

Facebook software engineer Alex Li describes Community Pages on the official Facebook blog:

Community Pages are still in beta, but our long-term goal is to make them the best collection of shared knowledge on a topic. We’re starting by showing Wikipedia information, but we’re also looking for people who are passionate about any of these topics to sign up to contribute to the Page. We’ll let you know when we’re ready for your help.

Facebook will also now suggest Pages to users based on information they add to their profile, such as favorite bands, books, and movies.

3. Facebook has also rolled back its privacy settings and will be adding back some options that were removed in a December 2009 update. Users will be able to hide their list of friends on their profile from their other friends on the “Friends, Tags, and Connections” section of their Privacy Settings. This section includes your lists of friends and family members, romantic relationships, photos you’ve been tagged in, your current city and hometown, and your list of Fan Pages, now known as “Things I Like.”

The new features will be rolled out to all Facebook users over a few days. F8, Facebook’s annual conference, begins today in San Francisco. It is rumored that the company will be announcing a content-sharing button that can be embedded on other websites. We’ll keep you updated.

Source: “Facebook to More Strongly Suggest Promo Pages to Users,” PCWorld, 04/19/10
Source: “Connecting to Everything You Care About,” Facebook Blog, 04/19/10
Source: “Facebook Launches New Privacy Section That May Make Your Head Hurt,” TechCrunch, 04/19/10
Image by thetruthabout, used under its Creative Commons license.

About Rachelle Matherne

  

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