Cha-Cha-Cha Changes :: Facebook

I do a great deal of marketing through Facebook Pages for both my work and my church, some Facebook changes don’t affect what I do so much, others do, and others…well you can’t quite tell until you do a little research. Here’s what I’ve found out about the most recent changes, as per the request of some Facebook friends of mine. =)

Facebook is changing becoming a “Fan” of a Page to “Liking” a Page. Facebook thinks people would rather “Like” a Page than become a “Fan”. Their research has shown that people will “Like” a photo, status update, etc. twice as much as they actually type a comment. So Facebook is banking on the idea that changing the terminology of becoming a “Fan” to “Liking” a Page will make it feel like less of a commitment to users and susequently more people will “Become Fans” of branded Pages. The function of “Becoming a Fan” or what will soon become “Liking a Page” remains unchanged. It is simply a change in terminology.

Another new addition is Community Pages, which we will see added as we go. Currently users list their activities that they enjoy: biking, cooking, chocolate chip cookies, swimming, reading the newspaper, etc. Soon, instead of listing these activities/things, people will “Like” these activities/things. Each activity/thing will have a Community Page, which will look similar to a wikipedia page (it will actually start out showing information gathered from wikipedia). For example if one of my interests is cooking, I will be able to “Like” cooking in my interests, which will actually be “Liking” the Cooking Community Page. Eventually Facebook will begin to ask people “who are passionate about any of these topics” to register as a contributor, essentially creating a Facebook version of Wikipedia. This part of Community Pages is still in Beta testing. With favorite books, music, tv shows, and movies, or anything that has a brand, you will Like those Pages (what used to be becoming a Fan).

There are also some updates to Facebook’s privacy controls as well. Facebook has added things like controlling who can view your friends, etc. There is also a PROPOSED major change to Facebook’s Privacy Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities among many other changes. Below is part of what they are proposing as a change to their Privacy Policy. There are MANY changes and I encourage you to take a look at what else is changing. This section is an important change you may want to be aware of.

“Pre‐Approved Third‐Party Websites and Applications. In order to provide you with useful social experiences off of Facebook, we occasionally need to provide General Information about you to pre‐approved third party websites and applications that use Platform at the time you visit them (if you are still logged in to Facebook). Similarly, when one of your friends visits a pre‐approved website, it will receive General Information about you so you and your friend can be connected on that website as well (if you also have an account with that website). In these cases we require these websites and applications to go through an approval process, and to enter into separate agreements designed to protect your privacy. For example, these agreements include provisions relating to the access and deletion of your General Information, along with your ability to opt‐out of the experience being offered. You can also remove any pre‐approved website or application you have visited here, or block all pre‐approved websites and applications from getting your General Information when you visit them here. In addition, if you log out of Facebook before visiting a pre‐approved application or website, it will not be able to access your information. You can see a complete list of pre‐approved websites on our About Platform page.”

Again, before you get all angry and create a I hate Facebook group, or delete your account all together, I strongly encourage you to take a moment to read all the proposed changes. Visit http://www.facebook.com/fbsitegovernance?v=app_4949752878 to view all the changes. The “Redline” version shows the old privacy statement with deletions in strikethrough text and additions underlined. Facebook does hold true to their open source/open information policy, at the above address you are also welcome to make comments and cristisisms about the new changes. You have until 12 a.m. pacific on Friday to comment with suggestions for these changes. If you do not like the changes this is the effective way to voice your opinion in hopes of change (or not change, which ever you may be for). =)

So thats about it, I know its a lot to digest but several people requested that I share this info.


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One Comment

  1. Bridgette Mongeon April 21, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    Thanks for outlining this. I’ll twitter this post now, as I am sure others would like to have it all on the table for them.