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‘Authenticated Pages’ Mean More Trouble For The Little Guy?

May 20, 2010

UPDATE: All indications point to Facebook reversing themselves on this.

Hello,

As of last night, we’ve removed the recently-added authentication requirement for setting custom landing tabs on Pages. The requirement was instituted as part of a Pages quality initiative, and we apologize for the inconvenience this caused to our developer and business community. We are re-investigating the situation, and will not make any further changes without first giving our community standard notice and lead-time.

Thanks for all your feedback,
Matt Trainer


Facebook Developer Network Team

Good sense prevails, I think.

(My original article follows below)

In what is no doubt a move to combat spam and scams, Facebook has done the following:

… Facebook recently made a change requiring that Pages be authenticated before enabling the ability to set a landing tab beyond Wall or Info. To be eligible for authentication, a Page must have greater than 10k fans or the Page admin must work with their ads account manager. …

This is potentially a good move, since it requires page owners to actually have a relationship with someone at Facebook (this is fine for small biz) whereas spammers and scammers in particular would shy away from any kind of relationship which could be used to trace their identity when their malfeasance is discovered.

But what is odd is the ambiguous language: ‘must work with their ads account manager.’ This implies that these page Admins must be paying ads customers – in other words, the little guy must put some skin in the game to prove he isn’t a crook.

Jumping The SharkThen again, presumably there is no required ‘minimum spend’ (Don’t see this anywhere) for being able to work with a manager to authenticate your page. While the attitude is typical of large bureaucratic organizations (guilty until proven innocent) when dealing with small players, the effect may be, in the long run, positive for small businesses and Facebook, provided that Facebook does not use this as a blatant opportunity to extract a toll from small or medium sized businesses.

Looked at in a different light, this could be more evidence that the switch to ‘like’ and the attendant changes were Facebook finally jumping the shark. I’m holding out hope that they retain their good sense.

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