language of facebook

Facebook page? Group? Account? What’s the difference?!

As I talk to people, I often realize that one of the key things that confuses people is understanding just what the difference is between the sections of Facebook. When I ask if someone has a Facebook page, they often say yes, or they tell me they have two and then I quickly figure out that what they actually have is an account.

So I’m going to break it down here in the hopes that it will lessen the confusion for everyone.

Facebook account (a.k.a. personal profile)

This is YOU on Facebook. When you sign up for Facebook and set up a password and then go in and add a photo and then start making connections with other people on Facebook by “friending” them, it is done through your personal profile.

Only individuals should have a Facebook account (there is an exception, but for simplicity we aren’t going to get into that). 

This is who I log in to Facebook as – this is my Facebook account.

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Key distinctions:

  • You have to be a person
  • People can’t see any information you share (that isn’t made public) without being connected to you
  • To make connections with someone both have to agree

Facebook page

A Facebook page is your business’ presence on Facebook.  By Facebook’s rules, businesses are not allowed to have an account and interact with other people on Facebook the way that people do.

Page is the distinguishing word here.  If someone says “page” they mean something that looks like this where you can go and like the page and allowing it to possibly get some of it’s content into your newsfeed.

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Key distinctions:

  • When you like a page you get immediate access, nobody has to approve anything
  • There are analytics that lets a business measure the success of what they’re posting
  • Information comes out of the page to people, but people’s information (other than basic demographic information) doesn’t come in to the page.

Facebook groups

There’s yet another kind of Facebook space that people can create, a Facebook group.  A group is like a discussion forum.  It is created by one person but everyone within the group can post to the rest of the group.  There are a variety of different kinds of groups, public ones (which are called open), private ones (which are called closed and secret ones that can’t be found by search at all.

They are great for many reasons, including planning committees, classroom discussions, clubs, etc.

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Key distinctions:

  • Only individuals (using your Facebook account) can be a member of a group, not business pages
  • People can converse with each other without being Facebook friends. Other than what is posted within the group, people can only see information that is made public if they are not friends with you
  • There are no analytics or options for advertising so it is not an alternative to a Facebook page, but can be used by a business to create more community

Leave a comment and let us know if this was helpful and if you’d like more of the language of Facebook broken down in future posts.