Not too long ago, Facebook launched Facebook places in an attempt to bust into the local-mobile space. My favorite part of this offering is how they straight up stole logo elements from Google Places (along with the name, not that it’s that original) and Foursquare:
One of the things they allowed you to do after this launch was merge your facebook pages to your places pages. You start by looking up the Facebook places page they’ve created for you (tied into Bing local listings), then choosing to merge that page to one of the pages in your administrative control.
If you did merge your pages during the places page claiming process, you received a ‘Danger, Will Robinson!’ message telling you that once you made the change – much like choosing a vanity url – the change could not be undone. I can verify that this was indeed still the case as of yesterday afternoon.
Why Merge Facebook Pages with Facebook Places Pages
There are reasons to and to not to link the two types of pages together. My brief, personal take without going through all the different scenarios is that if you are a retail business trying to incentivize people to check into your physical location, it’s a good idea to have one central facebook source for your presence. If that doesn’t describe your business, however, you might want to avoid it, if for no other reasons than I don’t like the layout as much, including the lack of tabs and default landing page. Here’s why Facebook suggests you merge or not merge the two.
Today’s Facebook Change: Flexibility for Businesses
When I was adding some festive yule-tide spirit to our facebook wall today, however, I noticed a new link at the bottom that allows you to unmerge the pages. For giggles (and because I kind of wanted to revert our facebook page back to being unlinked anyway), I chose to unmerge it. If you do the same, you’ll get the following two pages along with an email from Facebook letting you know that the “migration” will take a little time.
Just to see what would happen if I merged them again, I went back through the process. Instead of seeing the Danger Will Robinson message, however, I got this:
So there you go. You can now merge and unmerge facebook pages and places pages to your heart’s content. Unless of course, I caught them in the middle of another leak. I’m thinking this change is for keepsies, though – they even changed their help section already:
Merging your Place to your Page
Can a merge be undone?
You can unmerge a Place from a Page by clicking “Unmerge all merged Places” in the bottom left corner of your Page.