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This article was published on April 19, 2010

Facebook yokes Interests to Fan Pages; introduces Community Pages [Updated with Facebook statement]

Facebook yokes Interests to Fan Pages; introduces Community Pages [Updated with Facebook statement]

Updates can be found after the jump.

Facebook has announced a major overhaul of their Fan Page system just days before the F8 conference.

Facebook will roll out 6.5 million community-moderated Fan Pages called Community Pages “dedicated to a topic or experience that is owned collectively by the community connected to it.” These pages, dedicated to shared ideas and activities, will spread moderation of a topic to many participants instead of assigning ownership to a single person.

Facebook has yet to comment on how this will affect Fan Pages for activities such as “Not Being On Fire.”

More interestingly, though, Facebook will suggest fan pages to users based on the information in their Interests section of their profiles. While Facebook says that more than three times as many users have joined a Fan Page than have filled out their Interests section, there is still a large segment of the Facebook population that could be guided to an opt-in prompt for relevant Fan or Community pages based on this info, as seen in the pictures below.

This is a logical step on Facebook’s path to simplifying their disparate interfaces. Facebook’s given users the ability to like posts, fill in interests, join groups and become fans of Pages. This simplifies the interface significantly, introducing a global “Like” feature to replace being a fan of Pages, linking interests to these Pages and removing the need for potentially redundant groups.

More importantly for Facebook’s bottom line, this allows for significant improvements to Facebook’s ad model going forward. Facebook’s expected to roll out a new ad model based on browser and Facebook history at F8, and this expansion of the Pages model will allow for much more targeted advertising. This will seriously improve Facebook’s bottom line.

UPDATE: Facebook’s Barry Schnitt spoke to TheNextWeb to address this reported new advertising model for Facebook, saying “Just to clarify, the Financial Times incorrectly suggested that Facebook is launching a behavioral ad targeting at f8, our upcoming developer conference. Their story has been corrected. As we have said previously, we are moving from ‘Become a Fan’ to ‘Like’ to make the language on the site more consistent but we have no announcements or changes planned to our ad offering or ad policies.”

Thanks to Facebook for the pictures.