Facebook to more strongly suggest promo Pages to users

The company is also adding a new type of Community profile page for people with similar interests

Facebook will try to spur members to become fans of more of its site's Pages, which are profiles that organizations, companies and public figures set up to promote themselves and their brands, the company announced Monday.

Facebook will do this by suggesting specific pages that are related to information people have posted about themselves on their profiles, such as the city in which they live and the type of music and movies they like.

People will have the choice of accepting all Pages recommendations with one click or consider each suggestion individually, according to Alex Li, a Facebook software engineer.

"Once you make your choice, any text you'd previously had for the current city, hometown, education and work, and likes and interests sections of your profile will be replaced by links to these Pages," he wrote.

Previously, members could subscribe to Facebook Pages by clicking a button labeled "Become a Fan," but that button now reads simply "Like." When someone clicks on a "Like" button, Facebook adds that Page in the contextually relevant section of their profile "Info" section.

One thing to consider on the privacy front is that Facebook Pages are public and available to anyone on the Internet, so posting a comment or photo on them makes the content visible to the Web at large. These Pages also display a small sample of their "fans'" photos and names.

In addition, Facebook has added a new type of profile page to its site called "Community," meant for people to virtually gather around a shared interest or topic.

"Community Pages are still in beta, but our long-term goal is to make them the best collection of shared knowledge on a topic," wrote Li in an official blog post.

It's not clear from Li's post what the difference is between Community Pages and Facebook Groups, which are also collective profiles that people who share similar experiences or interests can join.

Finally, Facebook has also added a new privacy control that lets members hide their list of friends from their own friends.

The new features will be rolled out over the coming days to all Facebook users.

"We hope Community Pages and your improved profile make it easier for you to learn more about your friends and to express yourself," he wrote.

Facebook will hold its annual conference for external developers, called F8, on Wednesday.

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
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