It seems that Facebook is cracking down on unofficial fanpages by blocking the content within them. Thousands of sneaky admins gained notorious popularity by pretending to be an official source for a celebrity or cause, which made their fanpages go super-nova viral. This method has been known since the conception of fanpages, create an official looking page and wait for the fans to flock in. This fanpage promotion approach may soon come to an end, as recent actions taken by Facebook suggest that they’re cracking down on unofficial sources. While Facebook has not confirmed anything officially, we’re seeing a growing number of fanpages getting blocked, or their titles re-written.
Example number one is a 1.8 million fanpage dedicated to “The Hangover: Part 2” movie. It was wildly popular, but just recently it had it content blocked by Facebook. If you visit the page you will notice that the newsfeed is gone, and in the upper right corner, there is an info button with “Unofficial Page” text next to it. When you hover over the info you will see a popup that says:
This Page is created based on what people who use Facebook are interested in. It’s not affiliated with or endorsed by anyone associated with The Hangover: Part II.
As you can see in the image above (you have to be logged in to Facebook to see it. Otherwise, you will be presented with a different page. We do not know if this is permanent or not, because in the past Facebook simply merged all unofficial fanpages with the official ones. But it seems that they’re now rendering the pages useless. Not all unofficial fanpages are affected, as there are other large pages related to the movie that are still operational. However, we are also seeing tons of unofficial fanpages come back to full working order, even after they had their newsfeed blocked. The catch? Facebook has rewritten their titles and added an “Unofficial:” tag before the topic line. (see image below)
So, what does it mean for you and your unofficial fanpage? It could mean that Facebook is blocking all content on unofficial pages until they’re fully reviewed by Facebook staff. If a staff member approves the fanpage he simply rewrites the title and reinstates the page. But remember, this is only our theory. We track hundreds of pages a week, and many of them had their content wiped, only to come back a few days later with an “Unofficial:” tag. On the other side, many pages never come back, which could mean that they weren’t approved, of the staff did not get a chance to review it yet. Our recommendation is to totally disassociate yourself from any official celebrities, websites, or causes. If you’re clever, you could spin the page around to make it seem like it has nothing to do with the official topic. If for some reason your title is too specific for a spin do your best to post quality content, and make sure to stay on topic. This way you won’t raise any flags or possibly anger any business who might want to come after your page. In our opinion, the current setup is more beneficial to marketers, as in the past movie studios simply absorbed all unofficial pages into one mega page. But it now seems that admins have a chance to keep their page, with the small nuisance of having their title re-written to unofficial.