For years now, Facebook has existed without a viable competitor. The launch of Google+ has put the social networking giant in the unfamiliar position of having to react to what others do. This trend continued on Tuesday when Facebook launched a step-by-step online guide for businesses that are looking to launch a company-sponsored page.
The online education center, aimed at helping businesses leverage Facebook’s famed marketing tools, launched just a week after Google+ suspended all of its company-sponsored accounts for violating its current policies.
Google is planning on making business accounts available to companies by the end of the year, but is banning non-individual pages until it does. Many major names including Mashable, Ford and Sesame Street had their Google+ accounts pulled within the last week.
Sensing an opportunity to sweep up the many unhappy Google+ business users, Facebook launched its new “how-to” company branding site.
As Colleen Taylor at GigaOm points out, Facebook.com/business does not provide any new features. It simply organizes all the information that companies will need to take advantage of the social network’s current tool box.
“Facebook allows small businesses to create rich social experiences, build lasting relationships and amplify the most powerful type of marketing – word of mouth,” a Facebook spokesperson told Taylor through email. “We created Facebook.com/business to make it even easier for people to reach these objectives and grow.”
Specifically, the website walks users through the process of creating pages and integrating ads, sponsored stories, plug-ins and custom apps.
This is not the first time that Facebook has made a move that appears to be a response to Google+. Earlier this month, the company blocked a tool that allows users to export contact data from Facebook and import it to other Web clients, such as Google+.
Facebook said that it disabled the tool because it was in violation with the site’s terms and conditions, but many have argued against that claim. The tool doesn’t mine email addresses directly from Facebook, it simply extracts the names and correlates them with data from a user’s email account.
“This is not about user experience,” Rafael Laguna, CEO of the tool’s developer, Open-Xchange, noted in a statement. “It is about Facebook NOT wanting anyone to control their personal information - except Facebook.”
In addition, Facebook announced its integration with Skype just a week after Google+ introduced its own in-app video chatting client.
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Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.Edited by Jennifer Russell
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