Facebook can be confusing, especially for those just starting out with it. I hear a lot of people getting confused between profiles, pages and groups. Most of them are of course, newbies. People like me who have been using the service since its early days, have adopted with the new things that eventually came along. But for newbies just starting out, this can be a tedious and confusing process. So, let me explain the differences between Profiles, Pages and Groups.
A Profile is the basic privilege you get when you first sign up. After you have completed the basic sign up process, you’re redirected to your profile.
Profiles are meant to be personal, for individuals and not for business. If you want a personal account, like most people, you’ll have to sign up for an individual profile. Facebook prohibits creating personal profiles in the name of business because profiles are meant to be for individuals only.
According to the information provided in the Help page,
“Personal profiles are for non-commercial use and represent individual people.”
Your Facebook profile will contain your personal and public information including your name, age, gender, interested in, workplace, hometown, school etc. You can add friends, upload pictures, share statuses but you cannot run promotional ad campaigns on behalf of, say, your business. So, you’re limited to sharing personal information only. A single profile can be run by one person only.
Pages are meant for celebrities and businesses. If you have a business you legally run and operate, you can create a page about it. It will contain information on your business, include promotional offers, official events etc. Facebook is a great way to reach your audience and grow your business. Which is why, more and more businesses are desperate to grow their online presence on the site.
The core difference between a Profile and Page is in their purpose. While Pages are meant to serve commercial purpose (like Business or Celebrity), Profiles are meant for non-commercial purposes only. Facebook also has strict policy regarding this. You are not allowed to create a personal profile for your business. But you may open a page on your name, but if you’re willing to connect with your friends and family, you should create a profile which allows you to add friends. You cannot add a friend through your Page. Also, you’ll need a Profile to maintain a Page. A Page can be administered by more than one person.
Quoting from the Facebook Help page here,
“Pages look similar to personal profiles, but they offer unique tools for businesses, brands and organizations.”
Groups serve the purpose of connecting a community of like-minded people. Groups can be created by anyone and based on the type (open, closed, secret), others may be able to join. Profiles and Pages look the same, but Groups have a different layout. A Group can contain thousands of members and be administrated by more than one person.
Usually, Groups are created surrounding different topics like Pets, Computers, and Common Interests etc. Anybody can join an Open group but Closed Groups require admin approval. Secret Groups are private and can only be seen by admins and members. Closed groups can be seen by anybody, but only accepted members may join in. Open groups are free for anyone to join.
In a Group, you can post statuses, images, videos, notes. You can interact with other group members even if they’re not on your friend list, but you cannot see their private information that is only shown to their friends.