One lesson Facebook learned after its Beacon fiasco last year: If you’re going to snatch a user’s privacy, at least give them a chance to say no. Another lesson they could have learned: If you’re going to snatch a user’s privacy, think about paying them for it.
While Beacon is supposed to turn Facebook users into unpaid endorsers for products they buy and services they use, newly launched Facebook app Market Lodge offers a much better proposition for users: Endorse our stuff and we’ll cut you a check.
Here’s how it works: A user scans a list of products available for purchase via Market Lodge. They can then either send that list of products to someone’s e-mail address, or they can direct other people to their Market Lodge app on Facebook itself. If their pals buy based on their referral, users get a 10% commission, paid to their PayPal account.
The big flaw: Market Lodget’s awful product selection. There are CDs, DVDs, clothing, books, jewelry — and almost all of it relates to Yoga, Zen, or other New Agey philosophies. (See sample, left.) Not that we’ve got any problem with that. But if we’re going to start shilling stuff, we’d like it be things we actually like or use. Like, say, this boombox backpack.