Facebook Migrates 400,000 Users to Fans of Apple’s Page

Apple Students Facebook PageWhile Facebook has been turning up the marketing on businesses and brand owners to create Facebook Pages, one feature of Pages that is less well known is Facebook’s group conversion tool.

Essentially, if you’re the owner of a Facebook Group and want to convert the members of that group into “Fans” of your Facebook Page instead, you can fill out a request and Facebook will perform the migration for you automatically. According to Facebook,

If you have a group that fits into one of the categories offered for Pages and you are the official representative of that artist, business, or brand, we can help you convert your group into a Page. Please fill out your request here by providing us with the URL to your current group and the URL to the Page you have created that you would like your group members and group content transferred to.

Recently, Facebook performed this migration for the over 400,000 members who had previously joined Apple’s sponsored Facebook Group, “Apple Students” (it no longer exists).  (Remember Sponsored Groups? They were like regular groups but cost $300K.) As of today, everyone who was a member of the Apple Students group is a fan of the new Apple Students Page.

Some users may be surprised by this change because their original intentions for joining the Apple Students group may have been different than expressing their Apple fandom. For example, Apple promoted a popular giveaway of 10 millions iTunes songs through the Apple Students group in 2006. As one user emailed us tonight,

It’s kind of interesting because I did take the voluntary action of joining the group a long time ago, but never voluntarily made myself a “fan” of their page.

While it seems like this transition was handled as straightforwardly as possible for users given Facebook’s deprecation of the sponsored group ad product, Facebook should be careful when converting sponsored groups members to Page fans, both to maintain user trust and to prevent less scrupulous marketers from taking advantage of the “group converter” feature.