Friending a company on Facebook

November 7, 2007

Like a zillion other people this morning, I’m poking around on Facebook to check out the new Facebook Ads.  As one part of the strategy, Facebook is now allowing companies to build pages on Facebook to connect with their audiences.  i.e. just like I have a Dottie Hall page, now Microsoft, Apple, Coca-Cola or other companies can have their own pages.

The idea is very powerful.  Companies that find very fun ways to engage with their customers, in a Facebook-appropriate, not too commercial way, will find it a valuable tool for building communities.  But it definitely has a long way to go. 

The press release says that 100,000 Facebook pages launched on November 6.  I’d love to see a list of all of them.  Thus far, the only way I can find a “page” is to search on the company name, then know to go to the Pages tab (the other tabs are People, Groups and Events).  I checked out the pages for Coca-Cola, Verizon, Microsoft and Apple (which has 6 pages).  At this point, all of the efforts are extremely modest, as though these were thrown together very quickly. The press release says Coke will be featuring the Sprite brand, along with a Sprite Sips application, but I don’t see any sign of it yet.  I’ve added Coca-cola and Microsoft to “my products” – essentially “friending” them I guess.  We’ll see what happens next.

As a side note, “pages” is the odd name for the new category of Facebook page for these company or product pages.  The whole organizing concept of Facebook is the page (e.g. People create their own Facebook pages), so it is discordant to call these corporate profiles “Pages” – a non-parallel construction.  I’m sure someone thought “company” or “product ”or “business” was too limiting, but they were wrong.