Remember the great Beacon debacle of ’07? Facebook users don’t. The social network’s users were purportedly up in arms about the marketing program, which was supposed to tell users what their friends were buying, renting etc., But the real ruckus was happening outside the site, where folks like, um, us… were talking about it a lot.
Here’s graphic evidence, via Facebook’s new Lexicon feature, which tracks words written on people’s “walls”. We found that “beacon” (you’ll need to be logged in to Facebook to see this) wasn’t mentioned enough to meet the minimum threshold for measurement 5 times since September. It was most popular in December, when Mark Zuckerberg more or less apologized for the whole thing.
What Facebook doesn’t tell you: Exactly how many mentions it’s tracking. But compare Beacon to genuine Internet phenomenon Barack Obama, and the apathy toward the tracking program becomes apparent. Turns out college kids care more about politics than the Internet marketing schemes. Who knew?
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