Much ado about nothing: so-called Facebook Couples pages have been around for 2 years

I have some news to share with you: Facebook’s so-called “new couples pages” have been around for 2 years. Sorry to burst your bubble, people of the Internet.

That’s right – all that griping for the past two days has been over a feature that Facebook rolled out 2 years ago. It’s even existed to a lesser extent from the birth of Facebook.

Back when Facebook was a creeping free-for-all and everyone had open profiles, features like “wall-to-wall” and one that allowed you to see photo of you and whoever you happened to be creeping were commonplace and no one batted an eye.

About 2 years ago, Facebook rolled out Friendship Pages, allowing users to go beyond the wall-to-wall conversation-showing feature and see all of two users’ shared public conversations, events, photos and friends in one central location.

It used to look like this:

Now it looks like this:

These Facebook Couples’ pages are really just Friendship pages with the Timeline treatment and a customized URL. An internal vanity URL. This means that if you’re listed as “in a relationship” (or any iteration of the same) with another Facebook user, either one of you can visit to see your friendship page. It’s kind of magical, actually. It also means that you can’t send a non-Facebook user or someone not in your relationship directly to this URL. Yes, you can send them to your friendship page, but they won’t be using the “us” link to get there. Think of it as a cool Easter egg for couples within Facebook’s platform instead of something that’s vomit-inducing.

Although there’s no cutesy customized URL, you can also visit your mutual friendship page with any other Facebook user you’re connected to by visiting their profile and clicking on “See Friendship”.

Let’s not discount this move by Facebook, though. By giving an internal vanity URL to a couple’s Friendship Page, Facebook is opening the door to future functionality on these pages.

A few hypotheses:

  • ability to make announcements jointly (e.g. announcing an engagement from your joint page vs. one user changing in on their Timeline)
  • push towards “family” pages or “group” pages, where you could mutually designate certain Facebook users to have joint content
  • ability to invite pairs to an event instead of inviting each individually

If you give it some thought, the possibilities are really endless. I’m curious to see where Facebook takes this.

In the meantime…stop freaking out over every single thing Facebook does. Especially if it’s not actually a big deal.