While working on a Facebook Page for a client project recently, it came to my attention that beyond the great differences between Groups and Pages, there are also differences between Pages and Pages.

Wait, what?! I thought a Page was a Page, but I was wrong.

When you build a Facebook Application you are automatically given a Fan Page for the app, which struck me as genius. I figured we could have the App Fan Page and use it both for the app and for company/brand updates. We could then skip doing a different Fan Page and we’d be able to send users to one single location to interact with our client’s brand, and their app, in one central location. Awesome, right? Wrong.

Below I’ve outlined the differences between Facebook Pages and Facebook App Pages so that no one again will fall victim to the confusion.

Facebook Fan Page

  • Post as “The Brand.” This is an important feature, especially for a company. When an Admin responds on a discussion board, or post a new item to the Page’s Wall you want it to look like it’s coming from the brand or company and not an individual person (like me), which could be overlooked as “just another fan.”
  • Page Info Can be About the Company/Product. This is also important: the Page information should be about the product or brand so that users can continue to explore and experience the brand outside of Facebook. A company will want to link this to the brand or product’s website/information. 
  • Conrol the Release/Publish of the Page. In addition to having the ability to work on the page without publishing it, you can also un-publish a page, make changes, and republish. This is great for long term planning, campaigns, and design changes.
  • Add “Tabs” (Pictures, Blogs, etc). As more tools and additional features are made for Pages it’s important to have the ability to add more content.
  • Add Multiple Photos by Default

Facebook App Fan Page

  • Post as a Facebook User. The developers of the app are Admins of the App Fan Page, but when they post to a discussion board or to the wall they post as themselves (personally) rather than as the App/Brand as a whole. This could confuse users into thinking the Developers are just fans. 
  • Page Info Section Must Be About the App Developer. The information headings are for the “developer” not the brand or company. The brand or company could put their information in this section, but any support questions or issues would then be directed to them instead of the developers. 
  • Page Released with App. The only way to hide the page is to put the App in “sandbox” mode, which then takes the App down with the page. This means that any future changes to the Fan Page would also bring down the App. 
  • Limited Number of “Tabs” There are a limited number of additional features that can be added to App Fan Pages. Maybe not be a HUGE deal, but it is a bit restricting. 
  • Add Single Images by Default. Facebook App Fan Pages come with the ability to upload only a single image by default; to add more images, you’ll need to add a Tab.

Each Page serves its own purpose, but they are different. Look carefully before you decide which one to use. While it would have been nice to have just one single page for users to deal with, we (like many others) decided to have a Fan Page for our client and an App Page for their app. And now you know why.