Facebook wants brands to use its fan Pages to promote themselves, so it sometimes will fold unofficial but popular pages into the official brand Page. This appears to be what happened to the official page of Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo. It gained more than 500,000 users on August 29th, while it typically has only gained a few thousand fans a day, according to our PageData service.
Ronaldo’s page now has nearly 3 million fans, making it the 18th most popular one on Facebook as of today.
Other companies have also seen big boosts from gaining unofficial pages. We covered McDonald’s similarly meteoric rise earlier this week. It gained hundreds of thousands of fans over a couple of days and became the number three fast food chain on Facebook at the end of last month.
Facebook monetizes pages through advertising that brands can buy on the site to point users to pages. The more fans on big brands’ pages, the more valuable a page becomes to the brand, and the more the brand might invest in their pages, and in the amount they interact with fans on Facebook.
As a bonus, here’s a video of Ronaldo taking an amazing free kick: