Nov 30, 2007

Falling On Their Face(book)

So Facebook has been getting all sorts of not-very-good press these days thanks a new feature that lets you know what your friends are buying online. The bulk of the objections have been around the invasion-of-privacy aspect of it (it was all about opting out, rather than opting in, until they decided that wasn't working) and while I think that’s definitely crucial to its high annoyance level, there’s also the fact that 99% of the purchases my friends make online aren’t the least bit surprising. Someone bought a book at Amazon? Get out! A movie ticket on Fandango? You don’t say. And when I find out they’re downloading music from some place called iTunes? Wow. Knock me over with a feather.

Point being, all these messages are going to wind up reading like so much spam. There’s nothing interesting or newsworthy about them. And so there’s no reason for me to pay any attention. Which makes it a lose-lose situation. You’ve invaded my privacy AND you’ve provided me with a trough full of useless information in return.

Now I’m not actually sure what the purpose of Facebook is anymore, what with the zombies and werewolves and all those movie quizzes that somehow make it impossible NOT to send a challenge to everyone on your friend list, but I can tell you that this is not doing the whole idea of social media any favors. As it once again proves, Your Brand Is Not My Friend™.

Even if your friend is buying my brand.


Anonymous said...


Beacon also changed the relationship people had with retailers. While it wasn't always private, it was basically one-on-one. Now the retailers and Facebook have decided Facebook is a part of it.

So our privacy is invaded, we don't benefit, and our "friends" get to know that we bought a lamp.

Lunar BBDO said...

Facebook is for me to play Scrabble with my dad in LA and very little else.