Alex Rodriguez joins Facebook

As the 2012 season begins, New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is looking to conquer a new platform -- social media. Yes, A-Rod is on Facebook.

"I just felt the time was right," said Rodriguez, who already has 716,000 "likes." "Social media has gotten so big now."

Rodriguez answered questions for ESPNNewYork.com about his new social media project through a representative of his new initiative.

Rodriguez, 36, has recently tried to keep a lower profile and avoid the embarrassing publicity that has marred much of his off-field Yankees career. Though he is not going to use Facebook as most people do -- posting all of their content themselves -- he said he believes it is a good way to connect with his fans.

"I want my fans to know how much I appreciate them," Rodriguez said. "I have always been pretty private but I like that I'm getting the chance to interact with my fans on a more personal level.

"The posts on my page will come from me. Obviously my time is limited and I have people to assist with certain things, but I will have an active role in all of the content on my fan page."

Instead of including photos from paparazzi, Rodriguez said he will be the one taking pictures and providing blurbs for them.

"Some candid pictures, some posts about issues that are important to me such as education, a few inspirational messages ... and I plan to answer some fan questions on video, too," Rodriguez said. "I'm looking forward to sharing experiences in my life that aren't part of a box score."

With his Facebook page up and running, will he follow teammates Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira on Twitter?

"I'm taking one social media step at a time," Rodriguez said. "I really wanted to start with Facebook first to see how that experience goes for me and I'll go from there. But it's on my radar, yes."