Facebook April 19 offered a glimpse at its next designs on the social Web with Community Pages that feature Wikipedia information and a new option to let users connect to Facebook Pages they endorse from their profiles.
Soon, parts of users' Facebook profiles will offer "connections" that link to Facebook Pages, those Web pages the social network offers to let groups promote themselves.
When users go to their Facebook profile on the Website, users will see a box that recommends Facebook Pages based on the interests and affiliations users previously added.
Users can connect to all these Pages by clicking "Link All to My Profile" or choose to connect to some of those Pages by going to "Choose Pages Individually" and checking or unchecking specific Pages.
When a user makes his choices, text submissions they previously had for the current city, hometown, education and work, and likes and interests sections of their profile will be replaced by links to these Pages.
Users who want to add more connections to their profile, can click "Like," adding that connection in the related area of their profile's Info section. "Like," as eWEEK noted March 30 has replaced the "Become a Fan" option for Pages.
"As part of a larger effort to improve the user experience and promote consistency across the site, we've changed the language for Pages from "Fan" to "Like" to offer a light-weight and consistent way for users to connect with the people, things and topics they're passionate about," a Facebook spokesperson told eWEEK April 19.
"This includes in the Fan boxes which Page owners are able to place on their sites. These will now be called "Like boxes" and will continue to show a selection of users who like a Page and give users the opportunity to like the corresponding Facebook Page from wherever they see these boxes."
Facebook users may see screenshots of and read more about how to manage Pages connections here in this blog post from Facebook software engineer Alex Li.
Meanwhile, Community Pages are a new type of Facebook Page dedicated to a topic that is owned by the community connected to it. For each Community Page, users will be able to learn more about a topic or an experience.
"Community Pages are still in beta, but our long-term goal is to make them the best collection of shared knowledge on a topic," Li said. "We're starting by showing Wikipedia information, but we're also looking for people who are passionate about any of these topics to sign up to contribute to the Page. We'll let you know when we're ready for your help."
InsideFacebook reported that Facebook is launching more than 6.5 million Community Pages, which will include a live stream of relevant Facebook information and public status updates from friends in addition to relevant information about the Page from Wikipedia.
Facebook, which also offered new privacy features to let users limit which of their friends may see what info they decide to share, is counting on these new Pages options to help strengthen the connective social tissue among its 400 million-plus users.
The social network announced its new Pages plans two days before its F8 developers' conference, where the company is expected to unveil a universal Like button to help Website publishers surface Facebook content their visitors can share with one another.
This effort, including a sharing toolbar, is geared to extend Facebook's walled network deeper across the Web.