The Difference Between Facebook Profiles, Pages and Groups

Create the right type of Facebook presence

An image of a woman signing into Facebook on her smartphone.

 Pexels

Maybe you already have a Facebook profile, but you're wondering if you should have a Facebook page too. Or perhaps even a Facebook group.

Facebook profiles, pages and groups are all features that allow people to stay connected with everything that matters in their lives, including friends, businesses, celebrities and interests. Despite this, they do have their differences.

What a Facebook Profile Is

Think of a Facebook profile as your personal page as an individual. You actually can't use any other Facebook feature without signing up for a profile first.

A screenshot of Facebook.com.

Your profile is a place where you can put information about yourself (your name, profile photo, short bio, where you went to school, where you work, what your favorite books are and so on). It’s also a place to post your status to express what you are doing, thinking, feeling, etc. Some of the ways you can personalize your profile include:

  • Using a fun cover photo or profile picture
  • Writing a snappy bio
  • Uploading photo albums
  • Displaying your workplace
  • Adding in your alma mater(s)
  • Displaying your hometown
  • Adding your family members
  • Updating your marital status
  • Letting others know what you’re looking for: Friendship, Networking, Men, Women

The more you can add to your Facebook profile, the more others will feel they have a sense of who you are. Remember, Facebook profiles are meant to be a representation of you as an individual.

You can connect with others through your profile by adding them as friends (or optionally having them follow you, if you have this enabled). You also have full control over your privacy, so you get to choose what kind of information you want to share with the public, with your friends and even with a custom lists of friends.

What a Facebook Page Is

A Facebook page is very similar to a Facebook profile, but it's always public. Pages are typically used to represent public figures, businesses, brands, organizations and other entities.

A screenshot of Facebook.com.

Facebook pages have similar layouts and main features to Facebook profiles, such as a cover photo, main photo, photo albums, status updates and more. These are all ways that public figures, brands, businesses and other entities can interact with their audience in a similar way that individuals do with friends through their profiles.

Facebook pages have additional features like:

  • Analytics
  • Tabs for other social pages like Instagram and Pinterest
  • Promotion tools
  • Publishing tools
  • Call-to-action buttons

People connect with a Facebook page by either liking the page or following the page. When they do, they'll receive status updates from the page in their news feeds. Multiple people can also manage pages as admins or editors.

What a Facebook Group Is

A Facebook group is essentially used to create a community. It's a place for people to connect and share information about a common topic of interest. Both profiles and pages can create groups.

A screenshot of Facebook.com.

Groups have similar features to profiles and pages, including a cover photo, a feed of updates and more. Anybody who creates a group can decide whether to make the group public for anyone to join, require admin approval for members to join, or make a group private by invitation only.

Groups also include features like:

  • Member invitations
  • Real-time chats
  • File uploads
  • Pinned announcements
  • A search function

Like pages, groups can be managed by multiple users as admins or moderators. These users accept/reject member requests, pin announcements to the top of the feed, remove members who don't follow the group rules and more.

When to Use a Facebook Profile, Page or Group

As mentioned earlier, a Facebook profile is the essential building block. You need it in order to create a page or a group.

Sometimes a profile is all you need. And you can always start with that and see how it goes. Eventually, you might want to create a page or a group.

Use a Profile When:

  • You want your Facebook presence to represent your personal identity.
  • You want to keep certain information private.
  • You want to limit the number of friends/followers you have.
  • You don't plan on doing any paid Facebook advertising among your Facebook friends/followers.

Use a Page When:

  • You want your Facebook presence to represent your business, organization, brand or professional identity.
  • You want to be found, liked and followed by as many people as possible.
  • You want to share all your information publicly.
  • You want access to analytics to see how your fans/followers are engaging with you.
  • You want to be able to use paid promotions.

Use a Group When:

  • You want to have discussions about a particular topic.
  • You want to learn or achieve something and help other people learn/achieve it too.
  • You want to build closer relationships with other users through shared interests and goals.