Will Facebook Authenticate “Nonprofit Organizations” or Shut It Down?
6/22/10 Update :: Good news! Facebook authenticated the Nonprofit Organizations Page on Friday, June 18. It only took one day:
[tweetmeme] 6/17/10: As soon as Facebook launched Community Pages, I knew this day coming. My gut told me the prompt for authentification would arrive at 10,000 fans, and indeed on June 14, 2010 when the Nonprofit Organizations Facebook Page hit 10,004 fans I received a “Facebook Warning” email from Facebook:
Our records indicate that you are currently the admin of a Facebook Page with a large number of fans, Nonprofit Organizations. To ensure a positive user experience, we require admins of large Pages to confirm their affiliation with the brand, business, person, or entity that their Page represents. Please use the following link to authenticate your Page.
You will also be able to authenticate your Page by viewing your Page and clicking on the “Authenticate Page” link below the “Edit Page” link.
If you are unable to authenticate your Page in the next three weeks, you may lose the ability to publish stories to your fans.
The Facebook Team
And here’s how the warning message appears on the Nonprofit Organizations Facebook Page:
According to Facebook, there are the three ways I can authenticate the Nonprofit Organizations Facebook Page. You only have to select one:
You must confirm this Page’s affiliation with the brand, company, person, or entity that it represents. Please take one of the following actions:
1. Link to your Facebook Page from your official website. Put a Facebook Badge on your website or blog. [Done – even though I think it looks messy! :)]
2. Add an email address to your account or another administrator to your Page who has an email address that is officially affiliated with your company or a company authorized to manage your brand (e.g. management company or PR firm). [My DIOSA Communications e-mail address is attached to the Page].
3. Add another admin to your Page who has an email address that is officially affiliated with the entity your Page represents. [Not an option. Don’t want to do this.]
If you are unable to authenticate your Page in the next three weeks, you may lose the ability to publish stories to your Fans.
Whether Facebook approves my authentification request really is going to come down to whether or not Facebook considers “Nonprofit Organizations” a brand, or a “cause or topic”. If it is the later, then the Status Updates of the Nonprofit Organizations Facebook Page will no longer show up in the News Feeds. I know this because I have spoken with a couple of Facebook Admins over the last six weeks who could not get their Pages authenticated, and thus lost the ability to publish Status Updates to the News Feeds. Their Pages were obviously causes [like Save the Whales], not brands. Most nonprofits should not have a problem at all getting authenticated if their Page is named after their organization’s name.
That said, I believe that 90% of the power of Facebook for brands is in the Status Updates because the Status Updates get News Feed exposure. If the Nonprofit Organizations Facebook Page can not get authenticated and loses the ability to publish Status Updates to the News Feeds, then essentially the Page will go dormant, be rendered useless.
I would argue that indeed “Nonprofit Organizations” is a brand that I started building on MySpace five years ago. There is also the Nonprofit Organizations MySpace, the Nonprofit Organizations Twitter profile, the Nonprofit Organizations YouTube Channel, and the Social Media for Nonprofit Organizations LinkedIn Group.
This is the risk of building communities on social networking sites over which we have no control. I must say I can’t even imagine MySpace, Twitter, YouTube or LinkedIn doing anything like this, but Facebook really does like their site to be clean, neat, and official. It has taken 2.5 years and lots of promotion (of Facebook to nonprofits) to reach those 10,004 fans. I am definitely not spamming my fans with useless content, and use the site to promote and help nonprofits and social causes. So I think how this plays out will be very telling. I submitted my authentification request and was told “Thanks, your inquiry has been forwarded to the Facebook Team.” All I can do now is wait. Of course, I’ll keep you posted. 🙂