Facebook owes its massive growth to one big decision the company made in 2006 : the decision to go outside USA, even though its userbase revolted against the decision.
Look at company’s growth last quarter :
In India, the company reported 78 million users at the end of the quarter, a 50% increase compared to the corresponding quarter of 2012. In Brazil, the company grew monthly active users by 62% year on year to 73 million users.
In all regions, an increasing number of our MAUs are accessing Facebook through mobile devices, with users in India, Brazil, and the United States representing key sources of mobile growth over the first quarter of 2013 as compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. [Facebook : 78 million users in India, Mobile is the Future]
TL;DR : Emerging markets are very important for Facebook. And it’s quite natural that emerging markets do expect Facebook to be treated at-par with the US market.
Even though Facebook is seeing major growth being driven by non-US geographies, the company really has stupid rules for non-US admins.
Note: If you are a Facebook page admin, you are being warned that you are not treated at par with a US based admin and this shouldn’t hurt your ego.
The Facebook Truth
You CANNOT change your Facebook page name.
And while Facebook clearly mentions in its FAQ that the page name cannot be changed (beyond 200 likes), the truth is that Facebook page name can be changed.
And it can be changed only and only if you are a US admin. Infact, the below option is visible only to US admins.
From Pluggd.in to NextBigWhat : Face the Facebook
When we rebranded from Pluggd.in to NextBigWhat, we obviously wanted to rebrand our Facebook page from Pluggd.in to NextBigWhat. While Facebook DOES allow one to change the url of the page (only once), the company doesn’t allow a non-US admin to change the page name!
We roped in a friend to do the honor and here is Facebook’s first response:
Unfortunately, we cannot approve this Page name change. We have determined the name change you requested may be misleading for the people who like the Page.
For example, the following types of changes are not permitted:
– removing or changing dates (Facebook Hackathon 2012 to Facebook Hackathon)
– changing from a personal name to personal name + activity or business name (John Smith to John Smith Photography or Candid Shots)
While we tried convincing Facebook that their ‘determination’ about name change being misleading is not correct, the second email from them blew us away:
If you selected, “My business name has changed,” and you have not already done so, please reply to this email with attached documentation showing your new business name as well as its address. An example of this is a utility or phone bill.
You mean, a utility bill to prove one’s US address?
Yeah, right! You should have asked for the same before creating the Facebook page as well?
A Note to Facebook team
For Facebook, the product needs global support and by global, I don’t mean an outsourced support divisions in Hyderabad; but a global product thinking.
A democratic access to product features and an equally responsive support is what Facebook should strive for. There is just no logical reason to believe that a page name can only be changed by US admin.
There is just no logical reason to believe in holier than thou implementation of a feature.
Well, this random decision of Facebook has forced us to move to a new page (facebook.com/nextbigwhatdotcom), so if you are on Facebook, do like us (and if you are on Twitter, do follow us @NextBigWhat).