Facebook Starts Recommending Branded Public Profiles

Last night Facebook turned on a feature which will surely build some buzz: the recommendation of brands as friends. Previously Twitter launched a user recommendation system which generated a lot of controversy as recommended users instantly got hundreds of thousands of followers. Many of the popular Twitter users have not yet embraced their Facebook public profiles in the same way that they’ve embraced their Twitter accounts.

Perhaps this new public profile recommendation system will help change that. So how are these new recommendations determined? While we don’t know yet, we have pinged Facebook to find out how they are generating these recommendations. So far I’ve been recommended to a number of public profiles: Britney Spears, Sarah Lacy, the Colorado Rockies, Chris Pan (who works for Facebook), Sheryl Crow, and Carmen Electra.
I was also recommended to the public profile for “I want to sleep … 5 more minutes!” An entertaining group but I’m not sure how many of my personal friends are actually fans. Based on the diverse selection of public profiles that I’ve been recommended to, it appears as though recommendations are a mixture of pages your friends are fans of as well as popular public profiles in general.
So do the recommendations generate a lot of new fans? You bet! Sarah Lacy for example has jumped from 1,119 fan (according to Sarah Lacy’s public profile statistics) to a whopping 4,286 fan in under 48 hours. Just like Twitter’s recommendation system, Facebook’s public profile recommendation can clearly generate substantial results.
So now all we need to figure out is how these profile recommendations are being generated. It’s fairly early out in California but we’ll be sure to update this post as soon as we hear back from Facebook. Are you excited to see public profile recommendations? Do you think this will generate much controversy?
There’s definitely a bias to some of the recommendations as Dave Morin, Chris Pirillo, Sarah Lacy, Julia Allison, Charlene Li, Darren Rowse, and Mark Cuban are among the users that have experienced a substantial jump in fans over the past few days. You can also view more of the fastest growing public profiles.
Thanks to Jim Burnell who tipped us off to this new feature via the AllFacebook public profile. Make sure you become a fan of AllFacebook.com.

Profile Recommendation Screenshot

Sarah Lacy Statistics