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MANDATE MEDIAdigital strategy for people changing the world

Facebook: profiles, pages, and groups, oh my!

By Suvi Chisholm:

Yes, Facebook is important to your campaign. But should you use your personal profile? How about creating a page or a group? So let's explain...

There are three kinds of entities on Facebook: Profiles, Pages, and Groups.


Profiles are for humans. Every human has one and only one profile. Every Profile represents exactly one human. They require real identities, but have robust privacy options. They can comment anywhere on Facebook and on other sites that use Facebook authentication. All relationships are two-way opt-in. (You're my friend, I'm your friend.)

They're capped at 5000 friends (because no one has more than 5000 friends). And they cannot be advertised or integrated with an outside website.

Here is the personal Profile of our president, Kari Chisholm.


Pages are for products, organizations, celebrities, and politicians. They are the official and public representation of those entities on Facebook. Multiple people can be authorized to administer them. They have no privacy settings. They can comment on their own Page and on other Pages (but not on Profiles).

All relationships are one-way opt-in. (I'm a fan of Lady Gaga. She doesn't know I exist.) There is no cap on the number of fans or "likes". They can be advertised and integrated with an outside website, and you can't email your fans.

Here is Congressman Peter DeFazio's politician Page and his government official Page.


Groups are informal groups of people, typically because they share an interest. Groups can be open, closed (invite-only, but visible), or secret (invite-only and hidden). They are opt-out (i.e. you can add all your friends to a group you create, without their consent; though they will be notified and can opt-out.) Groups cannot speak for themselves.

By default, Groups send an email notifying members of every post in the Group. They can be unlimited in size, though some features (like group chat) disappear after 200 members join. They can be advertised.

Here is the group page for a bunch of people who like to talk about Portland beer.

Wanna read more? Here are some additional resources about profiles, pages and groups and how to choose which is best for your organization. Or check out Facebook's blog.

Posted by Suvi Chisholm on September 14, 2011 in facebook | See full archives