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Facebook: difference between Networks, Groups and Pages

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

I could have never imagined what I had in store when I first logged in Facebook- incomprehensible privacy settings, responses to comments I had never made, friends that weren´t my friends-. Every single Facebook feature was a one big headache to me. But there is something I still find annoying: what’s the difference between networks, groups and pages? This is what Nick O’Neill, Vanina Berghella and others tell us:

NETWORKS

According to Facebook’s Help Center, “Facebook is made up of many networks, each based around a school, workplace, or region. After you register for Facebook, you can add any networks with which you can prove an affiliation from the “Networks” tab of the Account page.” From this I understand that networks are the top of the hierarchy, the bricks from which Facebook is made. They gather people that have in common workplace, residence or birthplace and schools, high-schools or universities. You can be member of no more than 5 networks at a time.

GROUPS

If we have a look again at Facebook’s Help Center, we learn that “you can join any open group on your networks. Also, you can join any “global” group that is open.” Gropus are “for members of groups to connect, share and even collaborate on a given topic or idea”. Nick O’Neill gives us a further explanation:  “Groups can serve as an extremely effective marketing tool. Most importantly, groups serve as a tool for building awareness around various ideas. We’ve rapidly seen many users use Facebook Pages for the same purpose, but this is what groups were initially intended for. The key feature behind Facebook groups is the ability to make them “invite only” or limited to specific networks.” Vanina Berghella provides us with the following list of features:

Logo                               Photos                              Debate Forum

Basic information     Pulished Elements       Events

Members                       Video                                Wall

PAGES

As stated by O’Neill, “in contrast to Facebook groups, which are focused on organizing around topics or ideas, Facebook Pages allow entities such as public figures and organizations to broadcast information to their fans. If you are looking to set up your company’s “official Facebook presence” you would opt for Facebook Pages.” Simply put, Facebook Pages are a tool for companies and public figures to engage their fans and customers. List of features again by Vanina Berghella:

Logo                                 Fans                                 Notes

Basic information       Events                             Page promotion

Latest news                   Published elements   Send update to fans

Wall                                  Debate forum               Video

For those who are looking for a more comprehensive comparison, this chart below (by Nick O’Neill) provides detailed information on technical elements concerning Facebook groups and pages:

Information sources:

Nick O’Neill (2010, February 2, 10:49 am). Facebook Groups Vs Pages: The Definitive Guide. Retrieved 2010, November 12, 08:40 am from http://www.allfacebook.com/facebook-groups-pages-2010-02

Facebook Help Center. Retrieved 2010, October 29, 19:21 pm from http://www.facebook.com/help Jens P. Berget, Slymarketing (2007, July 2). Difference Between Groups and Networks at Facebook. Retrieved 2010, November 8, 17:04 pm from http://slymarketing.com/difference-between-groups-and-networks-facebook

Vanina Berghella (2009, June 14). Comparativas entre el Perfil, Grupo o Página de Facebook. Retrieved November 11, 12:45 pm from http://www.lapropaladora.com/2009/06/14/comparativas-entre-el-perfil-grupo-o-pagina-de-facebook/

Marcos Fargas François-Sigrand, 1+1=3 (2009, January 13). Facebook: ¿Mejor crear un grupo o una página? Retrieved November 11, 13:08 pm from http://redescolaborativas.blogspot.com/2009/01/facebook-mejor-crear-un-grupo-o-una.html

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