Facebook climbdown…



It’s embarrassing.

For a brand that empowers its users in such a way they can instantly unite against against the ‘enemy’, issue a rallying cry to the like-minded and deploy the troops with amazing speed, you’d think facebook would know a lot better than to try changing the privacy rules by the back door…

I managed a textbook case of this in 2008 (when an international bank with local aspirations their ads would have you believe), and they did what most big brands chose to do. Ignore the facebookers, they can’t damage my brand, it’ll blow over in a few days. Against all my advice, the brand dug in, only to suffer at the hands of the mobilised minority.

After it hit the BBC 6 o’clock news a day or two later, a rather hasty about turn was arranged…

So facebook. A brand that provides the very battlefield, that truly gets the potential of 2.0 (having harnessed it from day one), should have known better than to bite the hand that feeds it. That of its users.

A foolhardy situation the board should have seen coming a mile off. An alienated user base will now watch its every move, and cry foul the moment they put so much as a privacy related foot out of line.

It wasn’t a smart move, deletion of a profile in the users eyes means everything comes off. A brand that prides itself on the sense of ‘community’ it facilitates really shouldn’t have scored this type of own goal, however great the need to further monetise the site is…

The privacy battle will rage on.

But I can’t help but feel if brands use consumers personal data to bring information / content / advertising / offers to them that is of genuine interest, they won’t mind a jot…

After all, it worked for Tesco…

Iain Morrison is a senior marketer in the British Tourism Industry. And would encourage brand managers to watch what happened to facebook. It’s probably happening to your brand right about NOW!

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About igmorrison

Modern day marketing comms man. If you want to know more about me, visit: www.linkedin.com/in/igmorrison find me on twitter @igmorrison or just leave me a comment.

2 responses to “Facebook climbdown…”

  1. m1chaelk says :

    I’m speculating here but judging from the gap between the way the founder handled this situation and the nature of the legalese in the updated ToS, I’d say there may be a power struggle in progress at Facebook. The updated legal stuff requiring a ‘perpetual irrevocable license (including sublicensing)’ is straight out of Record Contract 101 and indicates the way some factions at Facebook (and other Web 2.0 corps) are starting to think about themselves. But what they dont have firmly acquired is the right to content and rather than keep the massive happy (as the founder may be interested in doing), someone told their lawyers to ‘get it now’

    • igmorrison says :

      Very possibly.

      The battle for content ownership will rage on for some time, but they’ve done themselves no favours in winning the hearts and minds of those they need for their future success. A power struggle to watch, as many other 2.0 corps will follow their lead…

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