Facebook has released a new tool that lets users convert their personal profile into a Facebook Page. Though the terminology is often muddled, a key difference between the two features is that users can simply “like” a Page while they must “friend” (establish a mutual relationship with) a profile, which makes Pages a much better solution for businesses and public figures.
On a help page explaining the new tool, Facebook describes what happens when you make the switch:
“Be aware that when you convert your profile to a Page, your profile pictures will be transferred, and all of your friends will be automatically added as people who like your Page. No other content will be carried over to your new Page, so be sure to save any important content before beginning your migration.”
Migrating is irreversible at this time, so you may want to download your profile information — including photos, wall posts, messages and friend list — before making the switch.
With the tool, Facebook’s prime target appears to be businesses and public figures that have previously set up a profile instead of a page. Beyond having a somewhat different feature set, profiles also have a 5,000 friend limit that has become a limitation for some popular entities.
Personally, I’ve been waiting for this feature for some time, as it will allow me to move my “friends” (many of which are more like Twitter followers since I’ve never met them) to a Page and set up a new profile to maintain a more personal relationship with people I actually know. While that might be a somewhat limited use case, it should be a welcome addition for people who were previously a bit too loose in terms of who they accepted into their Facebook network.