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Facebook to Ban All Commercial Activity on Personal Profiles?



If Facebook follows through on its announcement, it may soon ban all commercial activity in personal profiles.

Buried among many proposed changes to the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR) you’ll find the following suggested addition:

You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain (such as selling your status update to an advertiser).

While TechCrunch points out that this would prevent users from accepting payment in return for advertisements posted to their update status, it may go well beyond that. Let’s look at the sentence again, but with some highlighting:

You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain (such as selling your status update to an advertiser).

So basically, you won’t be able to use any part of your personal profile for commercial gain. Facebook gives sponsored status as an example, but the wording “such as” suggests this is just an example and not the only thing limited. What does that mean? If you’ve built up a vast network of friends on Facebook you won’t be able to use that profile to promote your company, your consulting, or anything you stand to gain from financially.

You could argue that Facebook Pages are the place for commercialism, but I know lots of people–admittedly marketers–that have built-up their profile on Facebook as a means to help them earn new business. And, what’s next? What if Twitter follows suit? I, for one, would be completely up the creek without a paddle, if Twitter ever decided to ban commercial gain within its profiles.

I’ve cautioned before that you should never invest so heavily in any social media platform that it would hurt your business, should things change. I’d say this is a strong case for that argument, don’t you think?

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