This week, the loudest buzz in the digital arena was overwhelmingly emanating from Facebook. It seems that their strategy to integrate themselves into users' digital and physical lives is, as expected, generating consumer resistance. Revealed last week, there are plans in motion for a location-based status update feature'positioning Facebook as either a Foursquare competitor, or potential partner. The possibility of a database of half a billion consumers' current locations is leaving marketers' mouths watering.
This announcement, along with the recent news of Facebook's Open Graph and Instant Personalization features, has induced criticism of the site's minimizing privacy settings (consider these graphics of the website's security over time). Not surprisingly, this week, fifteen consumer privacy protection organizations took action against Facebook by jointly filing a complaint with the FTC.
It's interesting that even though the majority of consumers are concerned with the lack of security, Facebook and content creators continue to charge ahead. In the three weeks since announcing their Open Graph system, already over 100,000 websites have sided with Facebook by adding 'like'? functionality to their site. This sovereign company continues to make our privacy decisions for us and, despite all the hesitation and opposition, we still choose to participate daily.
However, there are some users out there who are looking for an alternative to Facebook and attempting to establish a new norm: open social networking.