At the F8 Conference last week, Facebook made several major announcements. More importantly these announcements have some big implications for marketers (and for consumers and their privacy). Here are some quick highlights:
Removed 24 Hour Limit on Storing Profile Data
Previously Facebook had a policy that marketers could not store or cache any data for more than 24 hours. One of the biggest pieces of news for marketers is that they have gotten rid of this policy.
“Fans” Just “Like” You Now
Another change is that corporate pages on Facebook no longer have “fans”. Instead consumers now “like” the pages. Furthermore, when consumers “like” a page, that company does not get access to the consumer’s profile info. This should make applications, widgets, and polls more important for marketers because these do result in full access to the profile. However, for consumers who like a page, marketers do have some limited ability to push updates and other communications to them.
Extend the “Like” Button to Your Site
Marketers can also add the “like” button to other content, particularly content on their own web site. If they do this, by default, customers are logged in to their Facebook account on that site. This should allow marketers to link the customer’s Facebook profile to other online user identifiers like cookies or on-site registration. You can also display info about which of the customer’s friends have already liked this item (see screen).
In the end, marketers should treat this new “like” feature similarly to the social sharing for offers that Unica introduced. “Like” should be considered just another way to extend the reach of marketing offers into social channels.
One powerful fact about extending the like button beyond Facebook is that customers’ Facebook profiles could develop into an even richer source of customer information. For example, both Pandora and IMDB have already implemented like buttons. This means that as a marketer you could understand a customer’s music and movie tastes just by tapping into their Facebook profile.
Proceed with Care and Caution
There was so much announced last week at the F8 Conference, it will take a while to fully understand and articulate all of the implications. There are certainly more topics to cover like some of the other Social Plug-ins, including Activity Feed, Facepile, Comments and of course the implications of the open graph protocol.
More importantly, consumers are still learning about these changes and informing their own opinions about them. There are big privacy implications here, and it is unclear how public sentiment will shake out, so while there is great opportunity, proceed with caution.
I also highly recommend that you take a look at the Forrester blog post “Facebook, Privacy & Lawmakers: What Should Marketers Do?” which provides some practical advice and a list of do’s and don’ts.
…As we learn more and form more opinions, look for additional updates ahere…