Individuals on Facebook are represented by their profile pages; other users become "friends" with a person to receive his or her status updates.
Businesses, celebrities, and public figures, however, aren’t really “individuals” in the Facebook universe, and as such don’t have individual profile pages or friends. Instead, high-profile Facebook users can create special Facebook Pages that serve as their public profiles on the popular social networking site.
What Is a Facebook Page?
What Facebook currently calls a Page (what it used to call a “fan page”) is essentially a profile page for very popular users. It’s much like a regular profile page, but optimized for communication with large numbers of viewers.
With a normal Facebook profile page for individuals, you try to get people to be your “friends.” With a Facebook Page (note the capital “P”), you get people to “like” the Page and thus become fans. People who like a particular Page can read all about the person or organization, contributed to hosted discussions, view photos and videos, and receive all manner of status updates.
Who can create a Facebook Page? You can create Facebook Pages for businesses, brands, and products; for musicians, actors, and other celebrities; for politicians, public servants, and other public figures; and for school classes, public organizations, special events, and social causes.
(By the way, Facebook requires you to create a Page[md]as opposed to a personal profile[md]if you have more than 5,000 friends. This encourages public figures and companies to go the Page route over a traditional profile page.)
For example, Starbucks is a business that has a Facebook Page (see Figure 1); it uses its Page to announce special deals and upcoming events. Popular musician James Taylor has a Facebook Page; he uses it to talk with his fans, announce concert dates, and post music, photos, and videos from his tours. Politician Sarah Palin has a Facebook Page (with more than 2.7 million followers!), which she uses to post statements and notes, as well as solicit donations (see Figure 2). Movie reviewer Roger Ebert even has his own Facebook Page, where he posts random thoughts and links to his movie reviews.
Figure 1 The Facebook Page for Starbucks.
Figure 2 The Notes tab on Sarah Palin’s Facebook page.
If you’re a business or celebrity, a Facebook Page is a great way to keep in touch with your most loyal customers and fans. You can use your Page to announce new products and promotions, hold contests, and solicit customer opinions.
If you’re a fan of a business or celebrity, a Facebook Page is a great way to connect with those you like to follow. You can find out the latest news as well as engage in interesting discussions with other fans.