Facebook Pages are totally pointless

by: Bradley Wint on April 3rd, 2010 at 12:03 am

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Usually I check my Facebook profile as soon as I get up in the morning, sometimes even browsing while still in my sheets. However, it’s usually cluttered with rubbish pages such as “Air”, “Coffee”, “If you were an idiot when you were young, join this group” and so on. Even though I did photoshop the image above, there are some days when it’s simply unbelievable where your entire front page is filled with the mass of nonsense. This leads me to wonder why Facebook has even bothered keeping the service.

When the Pages/Ads application was first introduced, they made it so group entities could have a common Facebook page for fans to join, rather than having people add individual members of the organization. It kept a decent line of privacy because the group could communicate with fans without having to compromise their personal profiles.

The main point of Pages was to allow organizations to get some publicity on Facebook, as well as being able to interact with their fans and uploading media content such as images, videos and more. If you create a page today, you can basically make it look just like a regular profile, since they share almost all the apps and layout. Initially the idea was quite innovative, with lots of websites, music bands and other promo agencies making pages. Soon, more and more people made pages for marketing purposes, basically making the best of what the app was made for. Facebook even made it more visible by allowing Page feeds to hit users’ home page feeds so fans could keep up-to-date without having to visit the Page each time. To add a bit of customization, Page owners who have 100+ fans are allowed to change their URL from www.facebook.com/pages/OWNER’s PAGE TITLE/(random number) to something short like www.facebook.com/PAGE TITLE. It’s a bit of an incentive to get fans I guess.

Above you see some randomly selected pages by organizations using it for marketing purposes. BMW uses it to publish news about new models, sales events, corporate news and more. Rockstar Network uses it to post links to their website’s content covering Rockstar Games material. Victoria’s Secret publishes new lingerie line info, asks questions and updates fans about modeling shows. Good job to each one of them for making the best of it.

However a lot of bored individuals have suddenly started creating random Pages and Groups, basically supporting some basic commonality shared by many users. At first the trend started with simple and stupid names like “The Beach”, “Air”, “Orange Juice” and so on. Then the names got longer, and recently, the Page owners have been using the Pages as a ruse to get people to visit their site, which sometimes has spyware. You may have come across pages where they force you to join to see the “Funny” or “Scary” content, only to find out it’s a link to a blogspam site loaded with spyware.

With users actually still supporting these groups and pages, their popularity has skyrocketed. What amazes me though is that many complain about being tricked into joining pages with bad repercussions, yet they continue to join them like crazy.

This brings us to the point is that Pages have become quite pointless. With people joining maybe 10-100 Pages in a session, your superb work of art Page is just swept under the mat, even if they join it. Assuming that they don’t hide the pages, your posted content still gets pushed down the line faster than counting to 10. It makes me wonder if making Page for your rock band, website or business place even makes sense anymore. I haven’t spent much time on BlogTechnical’s fan page for that very same reason. What’s the point taking my time to post pretty updates when Facebookers are more interested in watching a photo of a dog jumping into a pool?

From a traffic standpoint, unless your page has maybe 10,000+ users, you may be out of luck getting any decent exposure for your product or service. Twitter still seems to do a much better job since many users use Twitter to actually keep up-to-date with other’s daily activities. Even though Twitter is not near as big as Facebook, it is still concentrated. Let’s say a story was shared 100 times on Facebook and 100 times on Twitter, you definitely will get much more hits from Twitter than Facebook.

Of course Facebook would not consider discontinuing their Fan Page service, since many users would be in uproar, but what’s the point wasting time with it.

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