Facebook Allows Duplicate Pages to Be Merged Into Official Pages

Facebook has added a new “Merge” option to the Resources tab of the Page editor. It allows Page administrators to apply to roll extra duplicate Pages they admin into their primary Page, adding the fans and check-ins of the duplicate Pages to the primary Page. Facebook has privately done some mergers of community Pages into official Pages in the past for prominent celebrities and businesses, but the option has never before been publicly available.

The merge tool will allow official Page admins easily publish content to and target with ads users who’ve Liked an accidentally created, test, or unofficial version of a businesses’ Page rather than their primary Page, helping some Pages instantly grow to their rightful size. Update 8/5/2011: We’ve determined that at this time, duplicate Pages must also be under the admin’s control to appear eligible to be merged. This means the tool is currently only applicable to admins that had made an additional copy of their primary Page, and now want to combine it with their primary Page rather than wasting time managing and publishing to it separately. Those looking to gain control of community Pages or unofficial fan-controlled Pages that represent the same thing as their official Page should use the “Is this your business?” link or “Report: duplicate” link beneath the duplicate Page’s profile picture.

Sometimes admins accidentally create multiple copies of a Page for their business or organization while still learning about how to use Pages. These duplicate Pages clutter the search experience and confuse users trying to Like the official Page of something they care about. These duplicates may attain enough Likes that admins don’t just want to delete them, leading to demand for a tool that would let them transfer the Likes to the Page that has most of their Likes and that they actively manage.

At one point offer a merge tool for duplicate Places automatically created by users checking in, but bugs and misunderstanding of how to use the tool led to issues so Facebook removed it. Recently, Facebook launched the Places Editor to get users to flag duplicate Pages.

Previously, when prominent official Pages found they were missing thousands or even millions of fans that were scattered on various community Pages, Facebook has agreed to merge the Pages. In one situation, this led soccer player Lionel Messi to gain seven million fans in seven hours. This was only available to admins who had an direct line of communication with Facebook, though, such as big advertisers and celebrities, and applied to community Pages an admin didn’t control, rather than their own duplicate Pages.

How to Merge Community Pages with an Official Page

Now, any Page admin can apply to have their Pages merged through the “Merge duplicate pages” tool in the Page editor’s Resources tab. If there are any eligible Pages, admins can select them and initiate the merge. Admins can apply merge up to five Pages at a time, and can submit multiple merge requests. Facebook will then take a few days to verify the application and ensure the Pages are in fact duplicates.

Currently, Pages must have identical names and be controlled by the admin requesting the merge to be eligible. In the future, Facebook may expand eligibility to include similarly named Pages such as “Attest Clothing Store and “Attest Boutique”. This could make the tool useful for admins who created individual Pages for specific products, local branches, or international versions but now want to manage them jointly. It could also help admins consolidate their corporate and local Pages in anticipation or as an alternative to using Facebook’s new Parent-Child Page management system for corporations with local branches.