8/6/12 – UPDATE

fighting-guysFacebook is ACTIVELY targeting and shutting down Profiles representing animals, causes, groups and businesses that should be set up as Pages on the site. Info here. Once this happens you have NO ACCESS to any of your lists, photos, links or ‘friends’. It all disappears without warning and forever. NOW is the time to make the switch from your profile to a page if you have it set up wrong.

Since becoming a publicly traded company the want the accuracy of their data to be as correct as possible – or people will lose faith and not pay for ads within the Facebook setting. That drops the value of the Facebook stock – which has happened – and they are actively pursuing tightening their ship right now!

Profile or Page?
A Profile
on Facebook is: a user’s personal page, listing their friends, interests, group memberships, and recent activity on the site. Users can control which parts of their profile are visible to others.

A Page on Facebook is: a public profile specifically created for businesses, brands, celebrities, causes, and other organizations. Unlike personal profiles, pages do not gain “friends,” but “fans” – which are people who choose to “like” a page. Pages can gain an unlimited number of fans, differing from personal profiles, which has had a 5,000 friend maximum put on it by Facebook.

Page vs Profile: Which is Right for my Animal?

For starters make sure you set up your friend’s presence on Facebook within the parameters of your Agreement with Facebook. This means set him up as a Page. You agreed to many things when you signed up for your Facebook account – among them was you would only set up Profile for humans. This is a bit of a bummer because it is far easier to connect with people with a Profile than it is with a Page.

If you’re running the profile named Rin Tin Tin – anyone your privacy settings give access to his wall can go through this two click process and alert Facebook to your fake account.

No Pets Allowed

There are thousands of folks who have ignored this policy and are running profiles for their pets – but they do so at their own peril. Facebook can delete it at any time, with no warning! Under the Tools tab on every Profile is this menu where anyone can “Block or Report This Person”. There is a button for “This person is pretending to be someone” with the selection: “A pet, cartoon or character…”. If you’ve got a profile for your animal Facebook can delete it for this violation. For most people this is a “Who cares?” situation. But for pets with a ton of friends they’ve come to communicate with for a variety of reasons – this is a real risk. His whole presence and with it all his connections could be deleted in an instant.

Facebook says it’s important to maintain the perceived integrity of their service by holding strict standards for qualified humans only to be allowed to have Profiles.

Facebook says it’s important to maintain the perceived integrity of their service by holding strict standards for qualified humans only to be allowed to have Profiles. This means: No pets allowed as Profile, But, it’s a lot tougher to build and maintain an interactive network for your pet as a Page for a variety of reasons

Profiles can:

  • reach out and “friend” whomever they like
  • comment on friends wall if the wall allows it
  • send friends messages

among other things.

Pages can NOT:

  • reach out and “friend” others
  • comment on friends wall
  • send friends messages

But, it’s not all bad! Your animal can have a Page instead!

Pages can:

  • make events
  • post photos
  • upload videos
  • ask Questions
  • and share a limited (non spammy) amount of links with other Pages from time to time. (Not sure exactly how many this is, but I had a Page be put on Full Probation for two solid weeks after posting an informative link on other equine rescue Pages one evening.)
  • “like” other pages and comment on their walls if the admin setting there allow it comment and @mention on fan in comments after that fan has made a comment on your wall

Facebook can shut an account down any time they feel like it with no warning if they determine you’re breaking their rules. Happened to me with a Facebook Profile I had set up for an equine advocate. I went to log in one day and the Profile was gone. No warning. Nothing. Just — gone. But it had been a Profile set up for a fictional character. A no-no. I knew better. But I risked it because it was more of an experiment to see what might happen. Guess I got my answer!

ANY of your connections can report your “fake” profile and jeopardize your pet project at any time. It’s gamble of your effort if you’ve built up an awesome, but unsupported, following this way.

Oh No! I have a Profile Not a Page!

No worries! Facebook lets you convert your pet’s ‘illegal’ profile into a totally acceptable Page! Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=116067818477568

Every former ‘friend’ will now become an instant ‘fan’! Be sure to copy any photos, notes and other content because none of that will transfer over.

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4 Responses to Facebook: Pages vs Profiles

  1. lori ribbon says:

    thanks for the great article. i just did my very first blog post and i used wordpress!

  2. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for that information, Marti. I had no idea why there was a difference and the risk of doing it wrong!

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