Facebook Signs Deal With Microsoft to Use Ads From MSN Adcenter & Facebook.com Users Riot Over New Features

Sep 6, 2006 - 1:53 pm 4 by

There is a thread on WMW talking about an advertising deal between Facebook and Myspace that will allow those using MSN Adcenter in the future to reach the audience on Facebook. Like the Google and Myspace deal, this is good news for SEM's and advertisers.

Also regarding Facebook there is a lot upheavel and discussion going on from its membership base about new changes that they put in place over the last few days. The users are protesting new changes made by Facebook to include more detailed tracking of friends in users networks. How this applies to search marketers is maybe helping them to understand the social networking space a little better and how to leverage it with their SEO strategy. There has been good discussion recently, especially recently at the SES San Jose about how to gain links and traffic from some of these sites. It makes complete sense that as social networking sites become more and more part of what people do on the internet it will be inherent that search marketers get to know these social networking hotspots in order to leverage them. This recent incident is more a lesson on learning to identify the right people that are first movers or trendsetters which will introduce new features, websites, and products to the user base. This method applies in a link building strategy as well both for traffic and for spiderable inbound links marketers can use to grow sites. You can't force or shove new features/websites/links onto to people, they have to be introduced and it then spread by word of mouth or virally to others. SEO and Youtube is another example of how an SEO's can gain some free links from learning to leverage this site correctly.

The major story about Facebook has to relate to major changes taking place over at Facebook resulting in a brand new News Feeds of sorts that updates you on every single thing that your friends are doing on your Facebook network. One would think that people would love new features and appreciate the addition. Wrong, they hate it with a passion. The News Feeds track EVERYTHING from who your friends added as friends, who left what comment, who of your friends joined a group, posting image comments, who deleted you as a friend, when you login in and off and so on. It's become utterly creepy in a terrible peeping tom type way to watch your friends every single move on Facebook. Privacy was partly lost and there was no way to turn off the feature. The users felt betrayed in some small way.

So what did the users do? They started a new petition online and they resisted to this new change, by creating a group within facebook of over 250,000 people protesting the recent changes. Facebook is large, there is no doubt about that. I am a user of Facebook user, so luckily I can see a lot of what is going on that others can't since its a closed network.

Their message to Facebook:

You went a bit too far this time, facebook. Very few of us want everyone automatically knowing what we update. We want to feel just a LITTLE bit of privacy, even if it is facebook. News Feed is just too creepy, too stalker-esque, and a feature that has to go.

We demand that either the feature goes, or that we have an option to remove ourselves from the feature. Nothing people write on our walls, or what we write, or what we update goes up on the "News Feed." These are small demands of your users, but we are here to complain and protect our privacy.

We understand that they want to hold dear their new feature, and we respect that. But there are thousands of us, hundreds of thousands, who want either one of two things

1) Removal of the news feed program 2) A simple, one-click way to remove our presence COMPLETELY from News Feed. Not clicking x every time we have an action, but an easy option that will make it so that others, yes, even our friends, don't see what irrelevant thing we posted on someone else's wall.

Now's the time to give them constructive criticism and to let them know that we're not going to go quietly in the night.

Pretty powerful words from the groups on Facebook. As a user of Facebook myself, I can't say I am fond of the new changes either and hope that they allow users to opt-out of the new features. I have heard also that Facebook is thinking about opening up the profiles on Facebook to let people see them who don't have a facebook account. With something like this News Feed tracking enabled and anyone anywhere can see profiles, it will reveal a lot about the people who use Facebook and incidentially destroy some of the privacy that Facebook users so much love about the site.


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