Growing Backlash Over Facebook Social Ads
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 MoveOn.org 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.