Oct 042012

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That’s Facebook for you. Still growing, still doing things it’s own way, still making changes whether we want them or not…and still taking the piss.

Two things have been noticed recently on the mega-social network. The first is idiocy, the second is sinister. Let’s deal with the idiotic first.

Personal Promoted Posts

Personal Promoted Posts

Users in the US have been given the ability to promote their own posts in the same way that Pages have been able to do for a while. Pay for it, in other words. So now you have to ask yourself this – would you pay to promote that status about your hangover to more friends than it might usually reach? Because, let’s face it, the only people likely to pay to get their statuses promoted into more news feeds are precisely those people whose posts should be read by as few people as possible.

Facebook, of course, is looking to monetise, monetise, monetise, so this is a logical step with that in mind. But by any other measure this is a ridiculous option to give people. The only effect this will have (you know, apart from the money raised for the FB coffers and investors) is to seriously piss off the sensible, normal Facebook users who are already struggling to manage a news feed increasingly populated by Sponsored Stories and Promoted Posts from pages.


Facebook Reads Your Private Messages; Auto-Likes What You’re Talking About

That’s it in a nutshell. FB is auto-scanning your private messages and without your knowledge is Liking things you talk about. I’m not too fussed about the auto-scanning. Google has been doing it in Gmail to serve ads, no big deal. But auto-liking stuff is at best an assumption and at worst a misrepresentation.

For example, let’s say you send a private message to a friend in which you mention Manchester United, the Like count on the Manchester United Page will increase…by TWO! You and your friend will auto-Like the page. You migt be a Manchester City fan talking about the derby match! Like they need that with nearly 30 million Likes already anyway…

It gets worse though.

Does that mean, then, that if I’m talking with a friend about how disgusted I am about the allegations of paedophilia currently being levelled at Sir Jimmy Saville that his page and that of paedophilia (there isn’t one…I’ve saved you the bother of looking) will get two likes? According to research by Gizmodo, that’s exactly what will happen. I do not want to ‘Like’ Jimmy Saville or paedophilia, thank you, Facebook!

Is this an oversight on their behalf or are they deliberately inflating Like counts to ‘prove’ how successful Facebook marketing can be? I’m a cynical chap so I automatically lean towards the latter..

What do you think?

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Ben Greenwood

Marketing Manager at American Soda
Ben is the founder and editor of TechDrink. A huge fan of technology and social media, he has been blogging on those and many other subjects for well over five years. You can follow him in many places, including Twitter, Facebook and .

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