Facebook Group and Fan Pages: What’s the Difference?

by Barbara J. Feldman on March 20, 2010

With the introduction of so many kinds of social media, people who are new to social media and networking might be curious about which site best fits their needs. If you’re one of those people, and you’re interested in Facebook, you might be like the many people who often wonder what the difference is between a Facebook Group and a Fan page. Here is guide that can help you determine the differences and which one is right for you.

Facebook Groups and Fan pages have an overlapping feature set which often causes confusion. In addition, Facebook continues to make changes to how Pages function, complicating the matter even further. Let’s look at each entity and how each functions.

Despite the similarities between Groups and Pages there are quite a few differences. In order to create a group you need to go to facebook.com/groups/create.php and then fill in information about the type of group you’d like to start. Once you have done that, you need to decide if it is open to a particular network or all Facebook users. You can also set admission permissions for a group, to determine if anyone may join, if it’s secret or by invitation only, or closed, where a person must have your permission, as administrator, to join. Groups usually have administrators that manage the group, approve applicants or invite others to join. Administrators can appoint officers, who are nominally in charge. However, it should be noted that being an officer does not mean the person has the ability to administer the group.

It’s also important to understand that, because of these privacy settings, Facebook’s groups are similar to clubs in the offline world. Administrators can invite members to join via Facebook mail and email. Public groups can be found via Facebook search. While many of the founding groups were for social networking, today there are groups for just about every cause, issue and concern that any user could champion.

Facebook created Pages as an extension of sorts as many users were trying to connect with brands and famous artists in ways that didn’t work within the framework of the original Facebook. With the addition of the Page feature can you connect with your favorite artists, and businesses, and you can also show your friends what you care about, and recommend, by adding Pages to your personal profile. When you become a fan of an entertainer or brand that information is posted on your wall for anyone with access to your page to see. You can also see which Pages your friends are fans of via the “Info” tab on their profile.

If you want to create a Fan Page, you simply go to facebook.com/pages/create.php and create a new page. Even though Facebook Pages are very similar to normal profiles, the difference is that Pages featuring brands or celebrities can have fans and open walls for fans to post to. Page authors can communicate via updates which show on the update tab, or a person’s wall, if they are a fan and have allowed the page to show updates. Pages can also have applications.

Keep in mind that Pages have two walls, one for the Page’s owner and one just for fans to write their own messages. Just like a Facebook profile, Pages have tabs that offer more information.

The bottom line is that while each entity has different purposes, they allow the user to express themselves, seek out information and find others with similar interests. Groups are great for organizing and spreading information in a controlled manner, while Pages are a great way to connect with your favorite brand or entertainer.

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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Facebook Group and Fan Pages: What’s the Difference?." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 20 Mar. 2010. Web. 3 Dec. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1508/facebook-group-and-fan-pages-whats-the-difference/ >.