facebook bites the pr bullet on beacon, but it lives on because in the end users don’t appear to be bothered

Whether his words or his team’s, Zuckerberg eats some crow today via the corporate facebook blog and apologizes for essentially some poor product decisions in Beacon. Responding to some critics, Facebook will offer a global opt-out for Beacon. As I posted previously, Beacon already offered a partner by partner opt-out. Using the same dashboard Facebook added the option via a checkbox at the bottom of the list of partners. As Dave McClure and I grokked this morning and now blogs – given how few users will opt-out why Facebook didn’t launch with this feature is a fair question and they are right to apologize to the offended users.


Jay Meattle over at the Compete.com blog posts an interesting chart showing traffic to the Facebook privacy page. What’s interesting is how Jay notes the spike when Facebook announced it was opening up profiles to search crawlers allowing profiles to appear in Google, et al. search results compared to recently given the public criticism of Beacon. As I predicted – users aren’t concerned and will embrace Beacon’s goals of sharing more of what’s going in a user’s world.

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4 Responses to facebook bites the pr bullet on beacon, but it lives on because in the end users don’t appear to be bothered

  1. Adam Snider says:

    I don’t know if it’s so much that users aren’t concerned, as much as the average user might not yet be aware of Beacon.

    If I weren’t involved in online marketing, I probably would not yet have heard of Beacon. I think a lot of people are unaware of it’s existence, so that aren’t aware that they need to adjust their privacy settings.

  2. Adam, I think you’re right. In fact, John Battelle recently did an informal focus group at Cal Berkeley on Beacon awareness and, more importantly, whether they have an interest in their purchases being shared.

    See summary and link at http://kickstand.typepad.com/metamuse/2007/12/john-battelles.html

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