This post was updated at 6:42 PM PDT with comment from Facebook.
In a warning message to users, Facebook has said it will soon be discontinuing Network Pages, through which members of a particular network can view and interact with a variety of data, such as Wall postings, marketplace listings, statistics on the most popular things in their network, and popular groups. In the same message, Facebook suggests the use of its Groups feature to connect with people around them.
This is a pretty interesting move, and I'm not really sure why Facebook is going in this direction. Using Groups is a fine method of communication between people who share specific interests, but Network Pages, on the other hand, are great for seeing what's popular in your network, which probably includes people with whom you would not otherwise be in a group. It is a good, consolidated view of things that are of direct concern and interest to people in that network.
Bringing popular posted items, groups, and marketplace listings together in one place is reason enough to keep the feature, but when you add in a lively discussion board and Wall posts that really help solve a lot of connection problems, I just don't understand the reasoning behind this decision.
Facebook could not be immediately reached for comment.
Update (Facebook's response):
"Facebook has decided to remove the Network Portals because we have found that most users tend to get network information from their feeds, such as News Feed and Mini-Feed, rather than navigating to the portals. Groups, Pages and users' feeds continue to enable users to connect with the people in their networks and discover the most relevant information."