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Warning Claims Facebook Closing Business Profiles

Outline
Circulating Facebook message warns that Facebook is closing profiles that are considered businesses. The message notes that businesses using Facebook should use Facebook Pages instead of personal profiles.

Facebook sticker

© Depositphotos.com/ Petr Necas



Brief Analysis
It is true that Facebook can and does close personal profiles that are acting as businesses. Facebook profiles are for individual people only and should not be used for businesses, pets or causes. As noted in the message, Facebook Pages should be used for businesses instead.  Business owners who are currently using Facebook profiles can easily convert the profile to a Page.

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Example

FACEBOOK IS CLOSING ACCOUNTS THAT ARE A 'BUSINESS' IN THEIR VIEW. PROFILE SHOULD ONLY HAVE YOUR ACTUAL NAME. YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO RUN A BUSINESS OR SELL FROM A PROFILE, ONLY FROM A PAGE. CREATE A PAGE / CHANGE THE NAME OF YOUR PROFILE... EITHER *SHOULD* WORK.


Detailed Analysis


This message, which is currently making its way around Facebook, warns that Facebook is closing personal profiles that are operating as businesses. The message suggests that people should create a Facebook Page for the business or change the name of the profile to the user's actual name.

While it is unclear if Facebook is actively flagging and closing ALL profiles acting as businesses, the warning is worth heeding. Facebook can and does close personal profiles that are set up to promote businesses.

Personal accounts - as the name implies - are intended for use by individuals. Setting up a personal Facebook profile for your business, your pet, your favourite cause, or as a platform to promote your political or spiritual agenda does not comply with Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.  Facebook Pages should be used for such topics instead.  The Registration and Account Security section of the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities notes:
You will not use your personal timeline primarily for your own commercial gain, and will use a Facebook Page for such purposes.

And, Facebook notes in its help files that personal accounts are for "individual, non-commercial use".

Thus, Facebook does have the right to disable personal accounts used for businesses and will exercise this right as it sees fit.

The good news is that, if you are using a personal profile as a business, you can easily convert it to a Facebook Page. And, in fact, Pages have significant advantages over a personal profile for promoting your business and measuring the effectiveness of your promotional activities.

Converting your existing business orientated profile to a Page would likely be a better option than creating a new Page as suggested in the warning message. Moreover, the advice in the message to rename your profile from that of your business to your actual name is problematical.  Even after such a name change, Facebook may still flag your profile as being in violation of its terms of use if it considers that the profile is being used for commercial purposes.

The bottom line? If you are using a personal Facebook profile for business purposes, you would be wise to convert it to a Facebook Page sooner, rather than later.

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Last updated: September 19, 2013
First published: September 19, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
Warnings Claim Facebook Is Deleting Pet Profiles
Circulating Warning - Facebook May Close Down Animal Rescue Accounts
Statement of Rights and Responsibilities
Facebook notes
4 Reasons to Convert Your Facebook Business Profile into a Page