With looming rival Google+ getting much attention lately, social networking juggernaut Facebook has opened a “viral” channel to encourage growth, where invites to like a page may appear as user notifications and are more likely to get a positive response.
The new feature may benefit administrators of new pages seeking to establish an initial fan base, Facebook news site “Inside Facebook” reported.
"Because these invites generate Facebook and email notifications, they are much more noticeable and could have a higher conversion rate than the Page suggestions admins could previously send that appeared in the ‘Recommended Pages’ sidebar module that would occasionally appear. However, accepting an invite requires users to click through to a Page," Inside Facebook said.
It said this will be useful for administrators of new Pages, who can add a large number of admins to the pages to increase the number of invites.
"Our initial test of the invite system quickly showed a high conversion rate. This is likely because users see the invites as soon as they log on, and the inclusion of the sender’s photo makes the recipient feel that they’ve received a trusted recommendation," Inside Facebook said.
The site said the feature may trace its roots to 2009, when admins and users could send Page suggestions at the Requests panel on the home page.
But in January 2011, users could no longer send Page suggestions, although admins could still do so.
Facebook removed the Requests panel completely by April.
"Now Facebook has switched back to direct delivery of Page invites. Admins now see an ‘Invite Friends’ link in the right-hand admin panel when viewing their own Page," Inside Facebook said.
Selected Facebook friends will see the invites as notifications that display the name and photo of the invite sender.
But instead of being presented an option to instantly like the page, recipients are made to click to the Page before they decide whether to Like it.
On the other hand, Inside Facebook said Facebook has to balance “free, viral” fan acquisition channels with its paid Page advertising services.
"Too much virality pollutes the user experience, but too little can make marketing on the site seem to expensive," it said. — RSJ, GMA News