Facebook Beacon’s New Enemy

Facebook recently launched privacy controls in which users are able to choose what part of their profile is visible to friends. The problem with this though, was that it didn’t allow for different levels of restrictions, blocked access was too general. This latest article in eWeek mentions how Facebook has updated its old privacy controls to allow for greater access to restrictions. Users are now able to create specific groups (ex: Social Friends, Professional Contacts, Acquaintances) and limit their profiles accordingly.

How will this privacy control affect marketers using Facebook Beacon? Beacon is unique because it allows for brands to gain access to viral distribution that is displayed on a user’s profile and on newsfeed stories. Now these word of mouth promotions will be severely reduced due to stricter privacy controls. The visibility of facebook social ads will also decline since there is a direct correlation to beacon. It becomes a chain affecting all aspects of social marketing within Facebook.

User privacy has become a huge concern in social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. As privacy controls become more rigid, marketers will have to figure out new ways to reach this audience. Consumers ultimately have the right to privacy, Beacon will have to adapt or lose this battle.


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