How to turn your Facebook profile into a fanpage

March 31, 2011 at 3:03 PM ET

Do you wish that people could "like" you on Facebook instead of having to "friend" you? Well, Facebook is offering a way to make that happen by converting your profile into a fanpage.

Mashable reports that Facebook's new conversion tool will permanently turn a profile into a Page in just a few clicks:

Though the terminology is often muddled, a key difference between the two features is that users can simply “like” a Page while they must “friend” (establish a mutual relationship with) a profile, which makes Pages a much better solution for businesses and public figures.

Before you rush off to use the tool, I want to repeat that this is a permanent and irreversible switch. Once you change your profile into a Page, there's no going back. All your friends will turn into fans and everything but your profile pictures will disappear. 

If that doesn't make the idea of the switch unappealing, then please make sure that you back up your profile first. You can do so by heading into your Facebook account settings and finding the "download your information" link. That'll at least leave you with a copy of all your photos, wall posts, messages and your friend list.

We're glad that Facebook is finally offering this tool, because in the past there have been plenty of people who had a good reason to make the profile-to-Page switch but no way to do it — unless they were personal friends of a Facebook staff member. Those people include businesses or public figures who set up regular profiles before Pages were available or individuals who hit the 5,000 friend limit and needed more wiggle room.

Now between this tool and the ability to create Pages in the first place, there should be few issues for anyone.

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Rosa Golijan writes about tech here and there. She's a bit obsessed with Twitter and loves to be liked — on her Facebook page.