Monday, December 6, 2010

What's the difference between Facebook Profiles, Pages and Groups?

Many, many people are confused between a difference between the meaning of a Profile on Facebook, a Group on Facebook and a Page on Facebook. You should read this article even if you think you know the difference, as many a times, people wrongly think that too. I've even seen errors even in a couple of PCWorld articles, which is surprising. I'd like to clear out the confusion right away.

If you say "I have a Facebook page", you are wrong! Read on to know more.

What's a Facebook Page? 

A Facebook 'Page' is supposed to be capitalized. It is the page for a business, band, celebrity, website or something like that. You can Like a Page (which was initially Become a Fan). When you Like it, you start getting updates from that company, website or whatever, depending on what the Page administrator(s) write about. You can start a page for your website, company or something like that by clicking here. This Page will be linked to your Facebook account, and you DO NOT log in as that company. You will be the admin for that Page, and you can add more admins, remove yourself, among other things at any time.

Here is an example of a Facebook Page.

What is a Facebook Profile? 

A Facebook 'Profile' need not be capitalized. You can, but it isn't always done. It is the 'page' for you. Every person has a profile. It is what your friends can see when they click your name. It is NOT what you see when you log into Facebook first. That's the News Feed where you can see the latest updates from your friends and family, and even the Pages you Like. On your profile, people see your big sized profile photo, all the things you have recently done, a list of your friends, your photos and your personal information, depending on what you have protected from others (and who is seeing your profile) and other such stuff.

Remember it this way: Pages are for companies and Profiles are for people.
Now let's have a look at what Groups are.

What are Facebook Groups?
Facebook 'Groups' (also capitalized) are very much different from Pages or Profiles. They are what they sound like. They are 'groups' that you can create with other people in it. You can have a Group of people in a class, in a division of a business, your family or just for fun. Groups are something you can just go about creating and getting people to join in. Groups have a Wall, where depending on the privileges given by the admin(s), members may post videos, photos, links, little 'Docs', events etc. Security for Groups is of three levels:
  • Open: Members and content is public
  • Closed: Members are public, content is private
  • Secret: Members and content are private
Depending on the security, the Group may be open for anyone to search and join, or just hidden away. Groups can even have their own email address of the format '<some_name>' and members of a group (over 200) can chat all at the same time. A Group might be useful for your study groups if you are a student!

I hope this clears out any confusion you may be having regarding these three kinds of things on Facebook. And remember, do not mess up. Your geek friends will laugh at you when you are not looking. Or worse, they may correct your mistake in front of everyone.

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