Following Problems with Profile to Business Page Migrations, Facebook Introduces Appeals Process

Last week, Facebook released a tool allowing users who had created a personal profile for a business venture to convert that profile into a Page and change their friends into fans. However, some users didn’t fully understand the consequences of conversion while others had their profile deleted but no new Page created due to a technical issue. To help repair the damages from these issues, Facebook has created a Profile to Business Page Migration Appeal that users can fill out to apply to have the conversion reversed and their profile restored.

This quick answer to complaints and horror stories should help Facebook mitigate the backlash stemming from its troubled attempt to provide the conversion tool users had requested for years.

Text on the appeal page explains:

“Profile to business Page migrations are meant for profiles that do not represent a person. If you have accidentally migrated your profile to a Page, you can submit your request for a reversal. Please keep in mind that we will remove your business Page if your profile is restored. We may reject any appeals that we deem to be inappropriate. Further, we may not reply to all submitted appeals.”

Though this says the appeals process is for accidental conversions, users whose conversions were interrupted and never finished, possibly due a severe strain on the Facebook API at the time, may also be eligible for a conversion reversal. Facebook temporarily disabled the feature over the weekend while the API issue was being fixed

While Facebook clearly explained how the process worked in a warning on the tool and a series of Help Center article, we received reports of people assuming they could reverse the conversion themselves, or that their new business account would have the same capabilities as a standard profile. Some other unforseen issues, such as the inability to re-register with any email addresses or mobile phone numbers connected to a user’s old profile, may have led some users to wish they could reverse the conversion.

Facebook has been working to erase any perception that it doesn’t care about users — a sentiment that developed during several crises around changes to its privacy controls and before that Beacon, which syndicated user behavior offsite to the news feed. It has since become more receptive to concerns, adding a requested unmerge option to merged Pages/Places, returning the Most Recent reverse-chronological feed to Page walls, and suspending the ability of applications to request user phone numbers and home addresses.

The Profile to Business Page Migration Appeal process is another example of Facebook’s efforts to keep users, and especially Page admins who buy ads purchases, happy with the social network. Rather than stifle innovation, Facebook has chosen a riskier but ultimately more progressive stance of iterating quickly and occasionally making mistakes, but hurrying to fix them when necessary.