Friday, August 27, 2010

Facebook Positions Itself for Future Growth

In recent months, Facebook has moved to position itself as more than just a way for its users to interact with other people and brands, but now also as a venue for users to interact with and discuss places and activities.

Community Pages

The first addition we have seen is Community Pages, and Facebook is calling them “the best collection of shared knowledge on a topic”. Think Wikipedia, minus the user editing capabilities. Facebook populates the walls of these pages by pulling posts from other user’s profiles that contain the particular term that the Community Page is based on. We can help them collect other information to add to our client's Community Page by submitting website URL's and Wikipedia page links (if applicable). Facebook is also currently inviting users to apply to add content to these pages later on. From what I have read, Facebook intends to eventually allow users to upload their photos to the page. At this point, though, it seems like Communities have a long way to go before they feel anything like an actual community.

Facebook Places:

Much like Foursquare, a Facebook Places page shows FB users a map of where the Place is located, a list of friends who are currently checked in at the Place (if any), and a Friend Activity stream of other friends who have visited the Place in the past. By claiming your FB Place, you can manage your Place’s address, contact information, business hours, profile picture, admins and other settings. Right now, Facebook Place pages exists completely independent of the Facebook Fan page that we’re using to engage and connect with our business’s followers.

I am getting word that we will be able to merge Fan Page listings with Facebook Place pages at a later date. There’s quite a hefty claiming process to set the stage for the eventual merger, but once it’s done, the new Place Page as your business’s identity on Facebook. You will eventually have one page that users can interact with and check in at.

Thoughts and resources:

  • One of the issues I can see Community Pages facing in the future is when a product/brand/place/interest does not have a unique name. Facebook may populate the community page with recents posts pertaining to another topic of the same name.

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