more on brands as persons: facebook’s news feed of brands & pages

Just a brief follow-up from yesterday’s post on how brands can now act as persons, again drawing from the example of my wife’s fan page. Facebook has provided businesses all the tools to start building a person-like series of relationship building actions. As mentioned previously: liking pages, wall-posting on pages, and commenting in threads (not mentioned before: including the “@” attribution in your own post and thereby simultaneously posting to a brand or fan wall). One of these new tools is that Facebook has given your fan page its very own News Feed – found on the Home Tab – where all the recent and top posts of fan pages you have liked are conveniently found. It is like a b2b (brand to brand) mini-Facebook interface. What seems implicit is that Facebook hopes that businesses will not only start b2b relationships through likes of fan pages, but also begin time-sensitive habits of feed watching, just like a person would. Through your News Feed you can respond in kind, “liking” posts or comments, finding topic-friendly avenues for interaction, promoting affinities between not only companies, but also admins and followers of those branded pages. In this way Facebook potentially becomes significantly more like Twitter. What Facebook is thinking that fan pages will develop a “page stream” that becomes a central part of how they interact across the FB social space.

The one serious problem that Facebook fan pages struggled with was that there was no pulse, no sense of back and forth connection on many of their incarnations. Businesses took them to be broadcast pages that you pulled people into. What makes Facebook (and social media in general) dynamic is that each node, each person, was a doorway to other things happening. One sometimes like to “over hear” an interaction, and then slowly step into it. The triangle of communication – the other, third person – is fundamental. That’s how social media grows.

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