The social media world has been abuzz these past few weeks over Facebook’s recent unveiling of new privacy settings on its ever-growing popular social sharing site.
Facebook recently made the decision to allow different levels of privacy for its account users. From a “please just update my family members” option to a “let it all hang out” option, Facebook believed it had found a happy medium for those users who like to share a little or a lot.
Thanks to a few new Facebook APIs sites like Time and Pandora (among many others), are using new Facebook Connect-type options to allow brand fans to see what they have in common with other brand fans. Click on an article about The Fray on Time — plan to see all of Time’s other Fray Fans in the Facebook window.
As a e-commerce retailers, this could have some great implications. If you don’t already have a “see who else likes this” option on your site, these APIs could be the answer you’re looking for.
On the other hand, you could risk losing current or prospective buyers if they feel as though what they’ve bought or looked at won’t be kept private.
As a response to the new “lack of privacy” options, some Facebook users have taken down their pages, shuttered their accounts and returned to a Facebook-free world. Others are withholding information, such as which brands they like, while others are continuing on as if nothing ever changed.
What does that mean for you?
That all depends on what you’re doing with your Facebook brand page. You may notice a slight drop in fans due to the mass exodus of “We’re not going to take it” users. Then again, if Mark Zuckerberg is right and there really is no such thing as real privacy, you may start to see an increase in people liking your brand. Either way, I wouldn’t count on Facebook closing its doors any time soon. I also wouldn’t begin taking down my Fan/Brand pages anytime soon either.
Facebook appears to be having a bit of a midlife crisis right about now. Like any good partner, it’s best to just sit back and watch and intervene when things start to get out of control.