New Facebook users now see a list of some of the most often "liked" Pages on Facebook when they sign up for the popular social networking service. New users get the option to choose from about 100 popular Pages. These Pages mostly belong to celebrities, brands, news outlets and politicians. Eric Eldon first wrote about this new addition to Facebook's sign-up process on Inside Facebook and notes that this list is "clearly designed to get users engaged immediately." To some degree, this list is similar to Twitter's now defunct Suggested Users List.

Glenn Beck, Barack Obama, Walmart and the New York Times

When we signed up for a new account to test this feature, Facebook recommended Peter Frampton's and Barack Obama's Pages to us, as well as the Pages of Glenn Beck, Trisha Yearwood, Walmart, American Idol, Starbucks, Tide, Coca-Cola and about 100 more Facebook pages. The list we saw featured slightly more celebrities (ranging from Lady Gaga to Paula Deen) than brands, but it also included a number of media outlets, including CNN, the New York Times and Fox News.

It is not clear how Facebook organizes this list of suggested Pages, but it looks like the company presents new users with a random mix of some of the most often "liked" pages.

Being included in this list will surely give these Pages a major boost in subscribers. Unlike Twitter's old Suggested Users List, however, Facebook's list is not a random sampling of the accounts that Facebook's engineers like. Instead, the process looks to be more democratic. The list actually shows how many people "liked" a given Facebook Page and the list only highlights the most popular Pages on the site. The number of "likes" for the Pages that appeared when we signed up for a new account ranged between 50,000 to 2 million "likes."

Getting First-Time Users to Like Pages

Facebook is clearly trying to make the experience for its first-time users better with this new list. Obviously, the company is also trying to highlight Facebook Pages in the setup process. New Facebook users are probably signing up to connect with their family members and friends, but the new sign-up process also highlights the fact that Facebook can be a good source for news updates and allows users to connect to celebrities and brands.

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