Home | Social Media

The trouble with Facebook community pages…

Henry Elliss
Henry Elliss
Managing Director
2 July 2010

I’ve been thinking about Facebook’s (relatively) new ‘Community Pages’ lately, especially after a back-n-forth I was having with ITV’s Ben Ayers on Twitter yesterday. General consensus from within the online marketing community is that the new, mainly auto-generated pages going to turn in to something big at some point, but as they stand they’re a bit of an eyesore.

If you think I’m being unfair, just type ‘sleeping’ in to the Facebook search box, and see how many pages there now are – scroll past the big page like “If sleeping was school I would have straight A’s” and you’ll get to the tens of thousands of these ‘community’ pages that have been created as a result of the move to create a page for every single item listed on Facebook users “Likes” section of their bio…

Herein lies the problem. Facebook claims there are around 30,000 pages containing the term ‘sleeping’ in their title, so you can probably imagine just how many of these ‘community’ pages there are out there. One has to assume that at some point Facebook will look to merge some of these pages together, and more importantly merge them with the official brand pages that both brands and users have been creating for over a year now.

Merging official and auto-created (or user-created) community pages sounds good in theory, but it’s actually going to be a logistical nightmare, both for Facebook and for the brands who suddenly find they are having to merge their beautifully created and managed brand page with a community page full of nonsense. Just do a search for “Coca Cola” to see what a nightmare this might be for a brand like that… Where would they even start?!

n40796308305_2334For Facebook, this merger would be a massive project, but the bigger problem will be the brands and organisations they’re potentially going to upset when this merger happens. Up until now, brands have been able to exercise reasonably strict control over their pages and how they’re run – though admittedly the facility for removing unauthorised pages is pretty flaky at best. But if Coca Cola suddenly find that 500 separate groups have been merged in to their official one, that’s suddenly a whole lot of extra content they’ve got to preside over – and in the case of recent ASA guideline changes, be accountable for…

Community pages seemed like a nice idea in principal – Facebook reps have stated in the past that they see community pages rivalling Wikipedia in the future. But in reality they’ve just created millions (maybe even billions) of pointless, half-empty doorway pages that nobody really wants but somebody will have to take responsibility for. As somebody working for a brand myself, I can tell you now I’m not relishing the day when the big merger takes place…

LEAVE A COMMENT

HOME | WHAT WE DO | CULTURE | THINKING | BLOG | REQUEST A CASEBOOK

IGNITING DIGITAL BRANDS | SEO | SOCIAL | MOBILE | JOBS | TALK TO US

CELEBRATING 19 YEARS IN DIGTAL
© TAMAR 2014