Facebook’s Next Trainwreck Waiting-To-Happen: “Community Pages”

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Ok, so do this.

Go to http://facebook.com and do a search for “JC Penney.”  Go to the #1 result.  It’s a page here.

Now go to Facebook and do a search for “JCPenney.” Go to that #1 result. It’s a totally different page here.

Confused?

Back in April, Facebook released a new feature called “Community Pages,” which are touted as “a new type of Facebook Page dedicated to a topic or experience that is owned collectively by the community connected to it.  Just like official Pages for businesses, organizations and public figures, Community Pages let you connect with others who share similar interests and experiences.”  

You can learn more about Facebook Community Pages here.

Reasonable idea, horrible implementation.  The main difficulty is that, structurally, both types of pages look pretty similar.  Big logo thing in the upper left hand corner, tabs across the top, and generally the same kind of layout.

The implications are a manifold:

  • Since both “official” and “community” pages show up in Facebook’s search results side-by-side, it’s impossible to know which type of Page you’re clicking through to until you do it.
  • Pages are not always ranked by number of members, so more popular pages may get pushed down out of the results.
  • Unless a person is paying close attention, it’s not apparent at first blush what type of page you are on.  Confusion abounds.  This is made worse by the fact that it appears that the “unofficial” community pages seem to be usually set up with the “official” logo of the organization.  So, you’d come here, see the JCP logo and think you’re in the right spot.  But you’re not.

Some other good analysis of the issue:

Caveat emptor.

photo: hubpages, “the crash at crush”

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Christopher Carfi
Ant's Eye View
Social Business strategist advising clients such as Google, HP, Cisco, P&G and others.

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