COMMENTARY: Facebook ruined Christmas?
Oh, Facebook, I knew they would try and bring you down.
Apparently, more than 50,000 Facebook members have signed a petition in the past 10 days asking for the disbanding of your new Beacon program. Facebook, in monetizing their site, created a program that is a bit more difficult to opt out of than we social networkers might have hoped. When you buy stuff from Facebook's ad partners, it automatically posts on your News Feed. So, if you are buying something really freaky on Overstock.com, watch out-- it will show to all of your friends in your Facebook feed. Of course, the media loves to tear down a success story like Facebook. Dozens of tales surfaced of "ruined" Christmas gifts, privacies invaded, etc. (These stories, I'm pretty sure, are mostly hyperboles created by the telephone game of stories being passed from person to person.)
I'm pretty sure Facebook will change their strategy to an Opt-In versus Opt-Out application. After all, marketers would be foolish to associate themselves with a program deemed completely manipulative by the masses. And, to be honest, that is a little too creepy, even for this buzz marketer's taste. There were lots of retaliatory quotes about the Facebook generation WANTING their every purchase to be public-- but I just don't buy it. I'm pretty sure that the research supports that people speak freely about what they buy and if they like it. One look at the user reviews on any amazon.com product will tell you that! If I like what I'm buying (and I'm comfortable with the world knowing about it), I will most certainly opt-in on Facebook. As will many others. People just don't want to feel tricked into telling others. Our generation does love to share. But we don't like feeling manipulated.
Facebook, I still love you. You will survive this blip on the radar of the traditional tootsies that are trying to destroy you. Make it an opt-in feature. Advertisers will still be crawling to you. Friends will still be networking on you. And of course, there's always Scrabulous. (BuzzMarketingDaily prediction: Scrabulous will be the next big issue in Facebook, as it HAS to violate copyright infringement on the actual Scrabble-- no?)
News Feed: Caroline is still loving Facebook, but let me opt in to tell you that, k?