I haven’t played around with Facebook pages just yet. Basically, they provide a free profile/page for any company/brand that wants one. In putting up Facebook ads, I have noticed the Facebook boys and girls are pushing hard to have advertisers all make one. One fellow blogger over at Leveraging Ideas recently posted a possibly business to be made in creating pages for big brands before they get to them.
However, ANYONE can sign up a Page for brand or company if that name is not already claimed. This is exactly what I have been doing. So far I have registered Harvard University, 24 and the Sopranos (TV shows), Kleiner Perkins, Patagonia, Lacoste, Ralph Lauren, Blackberry and others.
In his theory, if you register a page for a specific brand or company, you could operate this page in hopes that said company would contact you and possibly nicely ask you for control of the page with a fat check–sort of the way that domain owners go about hunting down hot domains before companies register them.
I’d encourage people to sign-up their favorite brands. Apparently that is what Facebook wanted since they currently have no authentication system. The best-case scenario is you get paid off. The worst case is you become a temporary marketing company working with the best brands worldwide.
Facebook couldn’t possibly have built this big of a flaw into the page system. One commenter on the post already posted that, unlike domain names, the Facebook pages aren’t unique.
However, there can be any number of Facebook pages that have the name Kleiner Perkins, such like there can be any number of people named Carl Perkins. It is up to the user to sort out which is the “real” Kleiner Perkins or Carl Perkins among all the others.
If that is the case, it seems to defeat the purpose of the pages in my mind–one location for fans of the company to unite and connect with the messages from that brand. A single page would give control to the company and give them an official presence on Facebook. If there are multiple instances, it will just turn into a big mess like all those groups were with “The Official [Brand] Fan Group.” Is Facebook not requiring authentication because they want to demand that businesses sponsor a page and pay in order to make it official? I don’t want to mess with joining three groups to champion brands I am not fully connected with like my cell phone or favorite podcast.
If Facebook doesn’t already have some authentication method in place, it is in their best interest to get one. Otherwise, I don’t see these pages becoming useful. Messages and cool company pages will only get muddled in a sea of fanboys and spammers.
This space will not become the next big domain mogul gold mine either because it is proprietary, and Facebook has shown that they are too smart to let that happen. Unlike the domain space, Facebook is in control all the pages and registers all of them. They want advertisers to create them so that they can take advantage of Facebook’s ad system and features. If some big corporation wanted to create a Facebook page, and a lone individual already owned and operated that page for them, Facebook would intervene to settle the problem for their advertiser.
If pages are this messy, I’ll just wait until Facebook starts the Facebook News Network so I can sponsor this program. (below)
Also via Leveraging Ideas
Update 1: Facebook contacted Leveraging Ideas with a confusing generic message that a page the blogger created was being taken down. The reasons stated for the removal don’t seem to fit though.
Update 2: Despite the lack of explanation, it seems Facebook deleted one of the pages he created and may do the same in the future, but his 24 and Ralph Lauren pages are still going strong.