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When Facebook Pages Aren’t Public

on September 14, 2010 | Facebook Social Media | Comments (0)

A big selling point of having a Facebook Page over a Facebook Group is that the content of Pages are outside the gated community of Facebook, can be visible and accessible by the public who is not a member of Facebook and it offers Google page rank juice. But when are Facebook Pages not available to the public?

If you’re creating a Facebook Page, the default settings are unrestricted. Under Settings in the Edit Page admin area of your Page, you can set restrictions on three areas:

  1. Country – By entering one or more countries here, you can restrict your audience to only people in those countries. This may be a sensible choice if you had business restrictions and did not ship products or offer services overseas.
  2. Age – If you want to restrict your audience based on age, you can block your Page from anyone under 13, 17, 18, 19, 21 or specify that you want the restrictions to be country-specific because your company, product or services are Alcohol-Related.
  3. Visibility – You can toggle your Page between being viewable to the public or only viewable by admins. This setting is usually helpful in the beginning while you are building it or during major design overhauls.

While Facebook offers you restriction levels, the company is also careful to add disclaimers to their settings options. For example, under age – particularly if you choose Alcohol-Related, they add the following statements:

You understand that the Alcohol-Related age restriction is only for convenience and that Facebook does not represent that by using that setting your Page will be legally compliant in all countries where your Page is visible. You understand that ultimately you are responsible for setting the proper legally compliant age restrictions for each country where your Page is visible.

Keep in mind that if you have restrictions set to your Page, this means that:

  • If someone is a member of Facebook but identifies themselves as being in the age range that you’ve specified, they will not be able to see the Page.
  • If someone is not a member of Facebook (and Facebook therefore does not have their stated age or country information), they will not be able to access your Page at all, and their browser will default to the Facebook home page.
  • Even if they have a direct vanity URL such as http://facebook.com/yourcompany, they will still not be able to get to your Facebook Page unless they become a member of Facebook, disclose their age and country, and fall within your restriction settings.

While you might think that blocking your Page from public view defeats one of the strengths of a Facebook Page, if you need to comply with guidelines or restrictions for your industry or have reasons why you need to control access, it is good to know that you have some safeguards. Always consult a lawyer if your need for restrictions is related to laws, statutes or industry guidelines.

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http://www.facebook.com/socialmedianewsaustralia


David Cowling : Editor and Founder of SocialMediaNews.com.au. I also run a Social Media Agency where I do consulting work and another blog dedicated to Instagram news. Connect with me: Twitter | LinkedIn | Google + or contact me here. Alternatively, you can send me an email at david@socialmedianews.com.au











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