Facebook Rules the World
I've been telling people for more than a year that someday Facebook is going to rule the world. People get angry when I say this and spend a lot of time trying to explain to me just how horrible Facebook is. I hate Facebook as much as the next woman but guess what, I'm still in there using it every single day -- and odds are, so are you.
First they spread their "Like" buttons all over the Internet. Then there was Facebook Connect that makes it oh-so-easy for you to log into your favorite sites and share your favorite content with all of your favorite people -- a functionality so popular that Yahoo! is trying it with their own cute little Y! Connect.
Yahoo's having a hard time keeping up, so I guess it makes sense that they'd move to the darkside and try to copy what Facebook is doing. They're already giving Bing a shot at running their search engines. Oh. Wait. Speaking of Bing...
Bing and Facebook have hooked up to make search more social. Gee, it doesn't really look more social to me -- just more Facebooked. Here's how this Facebook/Bing relationship works:
Mostly, what Bing is doing is looking at which Facebook Like buttons your buddies have clicked around the Web, then inserting a module into search results that spotlights pages they've given a thumbs-up. We saw examples involving searches relating to cars, San Francisco steakhouses, and the movie Waiting for Superman.
Think about that for a minute -- do you really want to see results based on what your freaky relatives have "Liked"? Yea. That's what I thought.
Don't forget the potential privacy issues. Facebook has had plenty of pitfalls in that area already, and I don't hold a lot of hope that there won't be some privacy #fails with this partnership too. Heck, look at what's happening right now at Facebook.
10 of Facebooks biggest apps have been sharing personal info of those who don't even use those apps.
Are you Facebook friends with someone who plays Zynga games like Farmville or Texas Hold 'Em? Of course you are; millions of people play Zynga games on Facebook every day. Your Zynga game playing friends inadvertently passed along your Facebook UID to third party research and marketing companies. Facebook swears this was an accident because developers didn't understand how browsers work. Huh.
If you keep your info private, these companies shouldn't be able to access much info... but who knows, really? Maybe it's no big deal, nothing different from the way a site like the Wall Street Journal might pass along info to marketers via third party apps. Or maybe it's bigger than that because Facebook's reach is so wide. Regardless, it's another privacy problem in Facebook's long history of privacy problems.
Facebook rules the world. How long before we revolt? I don't think we will.
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