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Facebook changes fan pages, privacy, and community pages

Several changes at Facebook

your fanIn preparation for their upcoming F8 Developer Converence, Facebook has announced a series of changes, beginning with new privacy settings, altering the wording of fan pages from “become a fan” to “like this” and adding Community Pages.

The changes are hailed by some but condemned by others as Facebook commands more and more web traffic, now at 41% of all social media traffic, putting a bullseye on their back.

Liking a fan page

First, when users open any Facebook fan page, they will no longer see a “become a fan” button, rather a “like this” button which has also been altered on Facebook fan page widgets (as you can see in the sidebar for the AgentGenius fan page).

People like Adam Brown in Kentucky said, “Hey @Facebook, your new “Like” feature instead of “Become a Fan” feature for pages is awful. It removes functionality and is confusing.”

Facbook’s Barry Schnitt told TheNext Web, “As we have said previously, we are moving from ‘Become a Fan’ to ‘Like’ to make the language on the site more consistent but we have no announcements or changes planned to our ad offering or ad policies.”

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Facebook announces Community Pages

Today, Facebook revealed they are launching 6.5 million Community Pages, stating that they have “always been about helping people make connections.”

Now, interests and activities completed by users in their profiles will allow Facebook to recommend community pages that match what users have indicated they are interested in. Facebook has indicated the recommendations should be in effect next time you log in to Facebook.

Privacy settings change

In light of the new Community Pages, Facebook has created a new privacy section called “Friends, Tags, and Connections” which focuses on the data on Facebook that is not within a user’s control. Now, users can make their data more difficult to find but still can not remove the data altogether.

According to Facebook, “Friends, Tags and Connections covers information and content that’s shared between you and others on Facebook. This includes relationships (shared between you and the person you’re in the relationship with), interests, and photos you’re tagged in. These settings let you control who sees this information on your actual profile. However, it may still be visible in other places unless you remove it from your profile itself.”

Speculators link this new privacy section to Facebook allegedly announcing a new ad platform based on Facebook user data, including users’ browser history.

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Barry Schnitt said, “Just to clarify, the Financial Times incorrectly suggested that Facebook is launching a behavioral ad targeting at f8, our upcoming developer conference. Their story has been corrected.”

Just like Twitter…

In yet another move to be structured in a way that captures social networkers’ attention, TechCrunch reports that Facebook will be adopting a mouseover that allows users to hover over a name of a person or page and see extended information about them, like friends in common. This feature was also recently added by Twitter.

Implications of the Facebook changes

All of these changes combined indicate Facebook’s grab for user information during their meteoric rise in web traffic. Facebook’s continued confidence (despite privacy advocates’ objections) is unshakable and whichever ad platform model and other changes they announce at the F8 Developer Conference could impact the shape of social networks as each struggles to keep ahead of the other.

CC Licensed photo courtesy of vogelium via Flickr.com.

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Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Kate

    April 20, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Will I still see posts from the fan pages that I “like” in my news feed?

    • Tara Steele

      April 20, 2010 at 11:30 am

      Kate, it is my understanding that none of the functionality changes, simply the wording they’ve chosen for their buttons.

  2. BHG Real Estate

    April 20, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Facebook changes fan pages, privacy, and community pages https://ow.ly/1AJcH

  3. CBRB_Alexandria

    April 20, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    RT @BHGrealestate: Facebook changes fan pages, privacy, and community pages https://ow.ly/1AJcH

  4. United Country

    April 20, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Notice anything different? @agentgenius has a great summary of the recent Facebook changes: https://ow.ly/1AKbU

  5. BeatBabel

    April 20, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Facebook changes fan pages, privacy, and community pages. Switching “Become a fan” to “Like this”. https://ow.ly/1AIYv #marketing #facebook

  6. Bernice Vinson

    April 23, 2010 at 5:23 am

    @agentgenius Facebook changes fan pages, privacy, and community pages https://bit.ly/ce4TZk

  7. Jeremy

    April 24, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Whoa…….I guess that I will have to make some slight adjustments on the page. I have had some pretty good success with my page. I was hooked after three days of its usage.

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