PageReach Launches First “Content Network” Built On Facebook Pages

Since Facebook launched the new version of Facebook Pages a couple of months ago, interest in Pages as a way to engage Facebook users with branded or commercial content has surged. Now, thousands of marketers are figuring out how to grow their Page’s fan base and get the most out of their Facebook audience.

One company, however, has been taking a slightly different approach. Washington, DC-based PageReach – which until now has been operating in stealth mode – has quietly been assembling a network of topic-based public profiles with the intention of building the first “content network” built solely on Pages.

Founder Dan Birdwhistell says PageReach has built a network of 75 Pages that reach over 10 million fans overall so far. One of the largest is The Beach, with over 2.7 million fans.

While many entrepreneurs have been thinking about Pages primarily as a way to gain access to user’s home page streams, Birdwhistell says he sees a difference between the idea of becoming a fan and subscribing to a feed.

“In general, most users become a fan of something as an additional way to articulate their identity.  For instance, someone may become a fan of ‘Pizza,’ but they don’t necessarily want to receive content from the Pizza page in their feed,” Birdwhistell says. “For users, the Pages product gives them an awesome interface (much better than Groups) to share content and connect with other like-minded users. We launched PageReach to build content and paired applications for these interest groups.”

Instead of relying purely on stream updates, PageReach is intending to monetize its Page network through a combination of sponsorships, seeding campaigns, applications developed specifically for its Page network. For example, the company has created a custom tatoo-themed application for its Tatoos page.

“Our Tattoos Page has about 1.45mm subscribers. To build more value for the user on top of our daily content and Stream posts, we built the Tattoo Gallery application to enable them to upload, rate, and browse tattoos by placement and theme.   We plan on extending this page/application model to many of our fashion, hobby, and entertainment pages,” Birdwhistell says.

In addition, PageReach hopes to help other branded Page owners jumpstart their pages by providing promotional “seeding” services to get other Pages over the initial 1,000 fan hump.

The Future of Generic Facebook Pages

PageReach is one of the first companies experimenting with building a business on top of generic, interest-based Facebook Pages. However, because Facebook’s original intention for Pages was to serve as a vehicle for official brands and companies, the future of these Pages is somewhat unclear. Facebook’s terms of service says, “Fake Pages and unofficial ‘fan pages’ are a violation of our Terms of Use,” so it’s quite possible the company will at least impose some restrictions on generic pages in the future.

We’ll of course let you know how things unfold. For now, PageReach has built one of the largest networks of Facebook Pages, and is continuing to expand it every day.

Statistics for PageReach’s Tatoos Page – Note the Gender and Geographic Breakdown

Landing Page Views for Various Pages in the PageReach Network (the highest is around 75k/day)

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