Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Growing Backlash Over Facebook Social Ads

Silicon Alley Insider
The early verdict is in: Facebook's "social ads" are a bust. Two weeks after Facebook's "groundbreaking" announcement about "a new way of advertising online," more than 2,000 of its own users have joined activist group in complaining that the new system compromises user privacy. They want the social network to immediately suspend or reform "Beacon," the program that recommends products and services people buy to their friends.
The trade pub says it's "infuriating" that Facebook users have to opt-out of the ad "bombardment" on a case-by-case basis, adding that the company "should immediately make Beacon 100 percent opt-in."
That's absolutely correct. Facebook is messing with its user experience in a dangerous way. It's precisely this kind of meddling that lead to a user revolt a little more than one year ago, when the company launched the mini feed and news feed applications. To its credit, Facebook responded to the privacy concerns, and now both features add tremendous value to the user experience. It looks like Facebook needs to listen to its users once again.

Strike 2 for Facebook
No to ads. They suck.
But big deal on compromising user privacy, they can't get that much out of users anyway. You're using a service and the access is part of the deal. It's only habits and interests, what's the big deal?
I'm more concerned with the user experience. Feeds are completely overrun with ads. People go on facebook to socialise, not to buy products or hear about products. If they do, it's in an organic fashion, not rubbish in a news feed.
Free the Feed!

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