Facebook Community Pages
by Jo Shaer, on July 20, 2012
Further to my post about Facebook unilaterally changing some Facebook business pages into community pages, I got an email from Trish about her Facebook page who was unable to reverse the change - even with our instructions.
Fortunately, we were able to give her some Facebook forms which allowed her to report what had happened and a few weeks later, her Page was mysteriously returned to her without warning. There was no notification from Facebook, she just logged in and it was back as a Business Page.
I wanted to find out a bit more about these rather unusual creations, but when I searched for items which I felt should be community pages, they didn't appear as a choice and there was no 'Community Page' option - only People, Places, Pages.
What distinguishes a Facebook Community Page from Business Pages and Groups
Checking on the main Facebook help site, I learned that these are built around topics, causes or experiences. And whereas official pages are maintained by authorised representatives of a business, brand, celebrity, or organisation, who can create and share content about the entities that they represent, this is not the case with Community Pages.
Most importantly, these cannot trigger newsfeed stories.
But, not so fast! It would seem that there are two types of Community Pages. The ones that Facebook creates based on user interests listed in their personal profiles. And those that can be created by individuals around interests. For the latter, these do appear in newsfeeds and individuals can post status updates on them. Sadly, Facebook does not cover these in their Help pages.
Facebook Community Pages AKA Passion Pages
These Passion Pages can be created by individuals from the Cause or Community option given when you first create a Facebook Page.
But Mari Smith does give more information about them in a post from back in 2010 here.
Facebook-created Community Pages for 2014
This is what they look like - with the flag or sometimes there is an image which may have been taken from Wikipedia. You can tell it is a community page because it takes its information from Wikipedia and contains these words:
This Page is automatically generated based on what Facebook users are interested in, and not affiliated with or endorsed by anyone associated with the topic.
At the very bottom of the page are credits to Wikipedia and the contributors there and also to Freebase, which is a licensed repository of data that is available to users under Creative Commons.
You can like these pages and also edit them. However, the edit function merely asks if you want to give the page a better category than Interests. Or if you want to make a change to the Official Page field: "Is this page a Wikipedia Page about a brand, celebrity, or organization that has an official Page? If so, enter the official Page here." This is a way to show that this Page is about a brand, celebrity or organization, but doesn't officially represent it.
Many Facebook-created community pages display Wikipedia articles about their topics, as well as related posts from other people on Facebook in real time. These pages are meant to be the best collection of shared knowledge on topics that interest you. Where available, they show Wikipedia content for the relevant topic, which Facebook has licensed under the creative commons license.
However, if Facebook cannot locate the right article from Wikipedia, they might be asking for help from the community. As a result, you may see messaging on these community pages inviting you to make these more useful and interesting by signing up to contribute in the future or by suggesting a Wikipedia article.
Although users can link to a Community Page from their personal wall and have their post appear there, you cannot actually add your own pictures or edit information on these pages.
Facebook Groups allow you to communicate directly with other people on Facebook about a specific subject. Anyone can create and admin a group.
So why would you want to like or link to a Community Page from your Facebook profile?
You "like" these pages to connect with them and adding community pages to your personal timeline can allow you to see what people are saying about stuff that matters to you — whether that's a hobby or a species that you own as a pet or a political movement, as well as letting your friends know more about you by clicking on your interests.
Some topics feature content from Wikipedia to help you learn more about things you find interesting in a more informative way, rather than just showing a bullet pointed list of your interests without further enlightenment.
Making unauthorised duplicate pages into community pages
Back in July 2012, this article from All Facebook talked about a new tool that helps to locate duplicate pages.
Facebook wants celebrities and other national organisations and entities to have their own authorised pages. However, unlike Twitter, they have not gone down the verification route and so a whole raft of unauthorised pages has been spawned.
Local businesses and duplicate pages
This is actually particularly noticeable for local restaurants who can have three or four different pages with people checking in at all of them. It's usually a case that someone has tried to check in, not been able to find the page for some reason and just created one.
The tool allowed certain Pages to identify all the duplicates and have them designated as community pages which linked back to the official site.
For those local restaurant owners, it's not much help really because they want those check ins and likes on their official page so it would be much better to have a claim and merge option rather than this rather peculiar solution.