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Nice timing: Facebook debuts “Facebook for Business”

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On Tuesday Facebook debuted a step-by-step online guide aimed at helping small businesses use the social networking site. The company is billing the new web page, found at, as an “online education center” that gives directions on such things as how to set up a profile page, create targeted ads and deals, and interact with customer feedback online.

The timing is interesting, as it comes just a week after Google began shutting off all company profiles on its Google+ social network. The search engine giant says it’s just company policy to restrict Google+ access to individual users, a stance that has inspired a good deal of controversy in recent days.

Facebook’s new business web page does not come along with any new features — it simply puts a lot of information that may be handy for small businesses in one place. Perhaps most importantly, it serves as a nicely timed reminder that unlike Google+, Facebook encourages companies to use its service for company branding. “Facebook allows small businesses to create rich social experiences, build lasting relationships and amplify the most powerful type of marketing –- word of mouth,” a Facebook spokesperson wrote in an email on Tuesday afternoon. “We created to make it even easier for people to reach these objectives and grow.”

This represents the second time in a month that Facebook has followed up Google+ news with its own feature launch. Earlier in July, Facebook announced a partnership with Skype to bring video-chat features within the social networking site — just one week after Google+ made waves with its own in-app video-chat feature called Hangouts.

The timing of these events could certainly be coincidental, but it does look like Facebook is taking Google’s recent entry into the social-networking landscape seriously and is increasing its feature updates and user satisfaction initiatives in turn. The new competition may be stressful for Zuckerberg and company, but ultimately it’s great for consumers if both Google and Facebook continue to bring their A games.

21 Responses to “Nice timing: Facebook debuts “Facebook for Business””

  1. Harry Smith

    I am not sure why we comparing FB to Google+ because they have different agendas and I do not for one moment believe that there will be a great exodus from FB to Google+ just because it is more private or more safe or whatever…750 million FB users obviously enjoying the application and I believe they will continue to do so. New users join every day because they find their friends on FB and it will take Google+ some time to catch up if ever…

  2. Well Facebook had to do something to put it in the news a bit, as their main competition Google+ has been for nearly a month. Whether or not this actually helps businesses or not, it serves the publicity purpose.

  3. A facebook page should be standard for any business today. I think consumers will use a combination of twitter, facebook, linkedin, and google plus to find what they are looking for. That being said – I will not use a facebook account for business purposes – too many privacy issue.

  4. Erik Hatfield

    This actually is not new. Facebook has had this option and this for small businesses available for quite sometime. I know because I used this information to set up the facebook page for my business several months ago.

  5. History shows that 1st Mover Advantage matters. My recon says G+ Business Pages won’t be ready for prime time until Q3 `11 so if the cliche “strike while the iron’s hot” holds any water Zuck and co. may have bought themselves a stay of execution for a few more months.

  6. Facebook has been slow to enforce it’s policy disallowing the use of personal profiles by business or entities other than individuals (associations, causes, etc.) I’m glad that Google has gotten rid of this early – it just encourages spammy interaction that most don’t appreciate – a business reaching out to connect with you that you have no prior relationship with. Hopefully Facebook’s release of guidelines and help for business is a precursor to following Google’s lead and enforcing the policy they’ve always had in place.

    • Google+ is reaction to both FB and LinkedIn. With the ability to separate members into circles, Google + allows you to manage both personal and business contacts in one forum.

      • (This is more in response to Kyle’s statement). Facebook lists are not the same thing as Google Circles. The difference is that Facebook lists only allow you to customise who you see in the stream, whereas the Google Circles allow you to customise who sees what you put into the stream.

  7. Your examples do not exactly match. The G+ hangout feature IS currently active and working. The Skype/Facebook is just an announcement, there is nothing NOW. It may be available next year, or even never.

    • Google Fan

      That is not true. I have used the video chat feature in Facebook. I am not sure how they roll it out because I cannot initiate it, only accept a video chat request (after downloading a plugin). It also does not appear in any of my chat windows but I am sure they have started merging video & facebook chat for some time now.