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Media Relations Minute: The New Facebook: Where is the “Don’t Like” button?

Like Dislike Buttons Facebook [1]Recently, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company’s new “Open Graph [2]” platform – a move that is guaranteed to change how 400 million (and counting) Facebook subscribers interact with the internet. As the No. 2 site in the world [3] (as of May 6, 2010), Facebook is giving its users the ability to personalize their own web experience through this social-bookmarking-on-steroids approach. 

To wrap your head around this in more “everyday” terms, Read Write Web [4] contributor Alex Iskold provides a great analogy, “If both Pandora and Last.fm annotate a page about The Beatles using Facebook’s markup, then users will be able to see their friends, who like the Beatles across different sites… now, the information about a friend’s likes of movies, music, books, recording artists, events, sports team, etc. will be permanent on Facebook profiles and readily available in context around the Web.”

This sounds cool right?  Users get to see everything their Facebook friends are interested in all over the web, but what if there were other parties involved with a vested interest?

This is where the trade off between personalization and privacy in the online space has never been so evident.  Facebook will give marketers (for large sums of money) the ability to target hundreds of millions of consumers unlike ever before.  The precision to which online marketers will be able to identify and target potential buyers based on their interests and what they “like” around the web is truly unprecedented.

What seems to be most troubling is the questionable way in which the company might force its users to make their information public.  For example, Facebook’s new “Connected Profile” tool that most users will unsuspectingly sync to their profile without much thought will, in reality, grant marketers open-season on their personal details.

It will be interesting to see how Facebook subscribers react to the changes ahead, particularly with regards to privacy [5] and business [6].

What do you think about Facebook’s Open Graph platform? Have you already adopted it on your Facebook page? What do you predict the impact will be?

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