Facebook is letting (encouraging even) people to convert their personal profiles into Pages. It’s not that they want you to treat you personal profile like a page. They want you to convert it if you’re already treating it that way, because you’re violating Facebook’s terms of service if you’re using your personal profile for anything other than an individual person.
“Business accounts are designed for people who only want to use Facebook to administer Pages and run ad campaigns,” says Facebook on a FAQ page. “For this reason, business accounts do not have the same features as personal accounts. Business accounts have limited access to information on Facebook-when using a business account, you can view all the Pages and Social Ads you own, but you will not be able to view profiles or content owned by other people. Business accounts cannot be found in a search, and the owner of the account will not be able to send or receive friend requests.”
When you convert your profile, only your profile photo and friends will be moved to your page. You’ll still be able to log in from your original email address and password. When you convert it, this account will be the sole admin of the new Page, though you can add additional ones.
All of your confirmed friends will be converted to people who “like” your new Page.
Before going forward with the conversion of your personal profile, you should acknowledge what you’re giving up, as you cannot revert it back to a personal profile once you’ve changed it. If you’ve had your account for a while, you may have a lot of content, including photos and videos that won’t be making the transition along with you.
You can download your information by going to your Account Settings and clicking the “learn more” link beside the “Download Your Information.” From there, just click the “Download” button. The file will include:
- profile information (contact info, interests, groups)
- content from your wall
- Photos and videos
- Events to which you have RSVP’d
- sent and received messages
- comments that you and your friends have made on your Wall posts, photos, and other profile content
It’s all or nothing, by the way. You can select certain aspects of this to download. You just have to get the whole thing.
You might also want to consider Facebook’s continued expansion into new realms.
Facebook has essentially become part of the fabric of the web at this point, with integration on most of the popular sites out there. In some ways, your Facebook account may be serving as your ID on the web (at least one of them).
Again, once you convert your profile to a page, you can’t change it back. We asked Facebook if there is anything stopping users from starting a new personal profile once they convert it to a Page. A spokesperson tells us, ”If someone accidentally migrates their Profile to a Page, they can always create a new profile using a different email address and login information.”