Facebook is being criticized for failure to communicate to advertisers that the Beacon program is not an opt-in. It’s a pretty big oversight, especially when you are under the microscope of every media outlet, and your sales team is going after advertisers like Coca-Cola (who have now stepped back from their involvement in the program). One article I read last week in the Wall Street Journal ended by saying one of the definitions for the term beacon is warning, which I found to be quite ironic.
One of the great things about the Internet is that it allows you to research, learn and engage in an anonymous environment. People want the ability to be able to buy someone a gift and keep it a surprise, to uncover what a certain medical diagnosis means or to engage in online dating via a controlled platform.
Social networking is about sharing on your terms, not when Facebook deems it appropriate. Now this might sound contrary to how an advertiser uses remarketing or behavioral but it is not. Because again, this is about one company communicating with one individual, not an individual having to share all of his habits and interests with others who know the personal identifiable information of that person. That’s the distinction I make when trying to judge which programs seem appropriate versus the ones that do not.
I like what the folks at Forester had to say about Beacon.