Facebook Connect – Great Feature or Another Privacy Nightmare?
By Carrie Hill
First announced back in May, Facebook Connect rolled out this weekend and now you can take your followers with you. Specifically – you can now use your Facebook credentials to log into other sites across the web and see your Facebook friends’ activity on those sites.
Amid concerns over privacy – many sites are on tap to add this functionality to their own platforms – soon you will be able to see your Facebook friends on Discovery Channel sites, Digg, Hulu and more.
Instead of keeping information and platforms close to their chests – many Silicon Valley giants are looking to share at least a small amount of information if it makes the web more accessible for its users. The issue I see with this is privacy – and that’s not a new issue for Facebook.
Behind the scenes in this change is the increasing and most challenging issue of building an advertising platform that works for Facebook – without drawing ire and lawsuits from users. In a stat from the NY Times article:
…research firm IDC suggested that social networks were a miserable place for advertisers: just 57 percent of all users of social networks clicked on an ad in the last year, and only 11 percent of those clicks led to a purchase.
Facebook isn’t alone – other social networking platforms are struggling to find a way to monetize their data and platforms.
Activity and participation on Facebook can be quite different from that on other sites we belong to such as Twitter and LinkedIn. The reasons we use those sites vary – and I’m not sure we all want those who follow us on Facebook to see our Twitter or LinkedIn connections. Now more than ever the web is now an open book –and if you don’t want it seen – don’t say it or do it…
Carrie Hill is the SEO Team leader for Blizzard Internet Marketing where she specializes in optimizing travel, tourism and lodging websites