Posts tagged ‘facebook’

April 1, 2011

Facebook Profile Migrations: A Cautionary Tale

by Avinash Saxena

Users who want to migrate from a traditional Facebook Profile to a Facebook Page might want to think twice, or even thrice, before making the leap. The new tool is intended to help brands, local business, organizations or public figures create a new Facebook page while still bringing their friends (ie, fans) along with them.

It’s great that Facebook is offering users this tool, but those interested in the migration should proceed with extreme caution. I unintentionally committed Facebook suicide earlier this afternoon when I participated in the process myself. What I had hoped would be a way for me to create a fan page and then re-establish a new personal account has instead turned into a bit of a technical, and social media-induced nightmare.

Understanding the Target Audience

Facebook told me that this is a tool meant for businesses, not individuals. The company doesn’t encourage users to convert their profiles to Pages because content doesn’t move over, only connections.

Just looking at the page for the new migration tool, Facebook makes this point clear, but the site isn’t explicit about what this actually means.

Here is what converting a page actually means, in terms of user content:

  • Only your profile photo transfers, no other profile photos or intricate profile information carries over.
  • Any uploaded photos, wall posts, comments and likes disappear.
  • Facebook messages disappear.
  • Any applications linked to a Facebook account lose that connection.
  • The username you have on your profile may or may not transfer over. In my case, it didn’t, and now serves up a big fat, not found page, rather than my profile. The kicker? The name has been “used” so I can’t claim it again.
  • The resulting account is known as a Business Account and can only be used to create and manage pages, not to engage in personal contact. This means that even if you do create a brand new Facebook profile (more on that later), you have to consistently switch between the two accounts for different tasks.

I understood that I would lose photos, wall posts and messages. What I didn’t anticipate was the loss of my username (a name I had to fight to get in the great Facebook Username Race of 2009) and that any applications associated with my account (including games) would now have major issues working.

The real trouble, however, came when I attempted to re-create a personal profile page.

Personal Profile Hell

I have been using Facebook since 2005. In that time, I’ve amassed far too many “friends” and had over 800 pending friend requests in my queue. That was the reason I wanted to convert my account to a public page. My thought was, if I can make my main page and point of contact public, I can have a more private regular profile and use Facebook like a normal person again.

This, was not to be. Forgetting the actual concerns with managing a public page in this way, for starters, re-creating my personal profile page required a number of new hoops.

The first problem was that I could not longer associate myself with any networks or e-mail addresses in use by the other account. That meant I couldn’t show that I work at Mashable and I couldn’t add my cell phone to my new profile. Removing those e-mails and networks from the Business Account was that workaround, but it creates more of a problem in maintaining separate pages.

Second, and this is the real issue in my case, I can’t even send friend requests to half of my friend or even some family members because Facebook thinks that I’m spamming people I don’t actually know. I can’t do anything to convince them that I do know said individuals and instead will have to harangue my friends and family to add the new me as a friend.





Third, even though I can switch between acting as the Christina Warren that is my personal profile and the Christina Warren that is a fan, because all of my social accounts are linked to a now defunct personal account, I have to reset every tool I have used that integrates with Facebook. I was under the impression that as a Page, I could still like a share content to that page’s feed without having a problem. Not only can I not do that, if I want to like or share content on my personal account, I need to be logged into a totally different setup.

Don’t Try This at Home

As usual, I should have listened to Jeffrey Zeldman. Had I seen the great web standards guru’s blog post from March 5, 2011, I might have avoided this entire mess. Zeldman also underwent the process of converting a personal profile to a public figure page and met with the same set of problems that I am now facing.

Fortunately for Zeldman, a kind anonymous Facebook engineer was able to reverse his account to working order. Facebook makes it clear that once the conversion is done, it’s done. So for me, that means that I will have to try to figure out a way to manage the hell I have created for myself, all in the interest of trying to better separate my personal and professional Facebook presences. (An aside, if anyone at Facebook wants to throw a good gesture my way, holla!)

I can’t say I wasn’t warned, but the reality of the situation differs so dramatically from even my worst-case scenario thoughts that this is a process I can only recommend to users who created regular Facebook accounts specifically for a business or public figure and that never had a real personal connection of any type associated to that account.

The real solution, sadly, for individuals looking to migrate, is to create a Facebook page and then try to convince friends to fan that page and look at it as a source of news.


March 31, 2011

How Women Really Feel About Their Facebook Friends

by Avinash Saxena
When it comes to Facebook, we have friends, and we have “friends.” A recent survey found that for many women on Facebook, their true feelings about many of their Facebook friends might be less than friendly.
Daily deals site Eversave talked to 400 women about their Facebook relationships. The company originally conducted the survey as market research on the social network’s influence on the daily deals ecosystem, but Eversave was surprised to uncover the love/hate relationship between women and their online friends.
For example, the majority of female respondents said they had at least one friend who was a “drama queen” on Facebook. A majority also said they had at least one obnoxiously “proud mother” as a Facebook friend.
Most women — 83% of respondents in this survey — are annoyed at one time or another by the posts from their Facebook connections. For these respondents, the most off-putting post was some kind of whine; a full 63% said complaining from Facebook friends was their number one pet peeve, with political chatter and bragging coming in a distant second and third.
The respondents also said at least one of their Facebook friends tended to:
  • Share too many mundane updates too often (65%)
  • “Like” too many posts (46%)
  • Inappropriately or too frequently use Facebook to promote causes (40%)
  • Project false information or images of a perfect life (40%)
These kinds of Facebook archetypes have become part of the cultural lexicon. We recently covered anamusing music video about Facebook “types.” But it’s fascinating to see these characteristics quantified by the women who get teed off by them.
Here are a couple infographics with more details from the survey:


March 9, 2011

Warner Bros. Starts Movie Rental Service on Facebook

by Avinash Saxena
Warner Bros. has started delivering movies through Facebook, enabling U.S. users to rent titles for $3.
Now, besides “liking” and commenting on the Dark Knight Facebook Page, you can also watch the movie directly from Facebook (the option is available from the menu on the left). That movie is the only one currently available for rental from the Warner Bros. catalog, with more to come in the following months.
Movies can also be rented for 30 Facebook Credits, an official payment option that enables users to buy virtual goods on Facebook. Renting a movie will give users a 48-hour window to watch it through their Facebook account; users are also able to comment on the movie, as well as pause it and continue watching later.
“Making our films available through Facebook is a natural extension of our digital distribution efforts. It gives consumers a simple, convenient way to access and enjoy our films through the world’s largest social network,” said Thomas Gewecke, president of digital distribution at Warner Bros.
For Facebook, this is another good way to establish Facebook Credits as an important online currency. Even more importantly, with more than 600 million active users, Facebook could become a serious competitor to digital distribution companies such as Hulu and Netflix.
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