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Tue July 27 2010 23:07:14

Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon.com is allowing customers to connect their Facebook accounts with their Amazon accounts. I find it a bit disturbing that, even if I decide I don't want Amazon to have my Facebook information, if one of my friends on Facebook links their accounts, Amazon.com will then have certain information about me - such as my birthday, activities and interests.

After all, many people revealed a lot of information on Facebook never imagining it would turn from a peer to peer social site to an investment-owned corporation hungry for revenue.

Dealing with the implications of sites such as Facebook is new territory, and there are lots of articles about the landmines you can find yourself stepping in (employers finding subordinates or interviewees engaging in inappropriate, immature or illegal activity are commonly cited). But there's also the dangers of being caught in little white lies (for example - you told your friend you were offline, but Facebook's IM feature shows your friends you are online!).



Online retailers and marketplaces like Amazon can use data to drive sales; if Amazon.com can remind you it's your friend's birthday and suggest gifts she might like, you and your friend could both benefit - and it seems likely the majority of consumers will find the convenience worth the cost of privacy. 

I'm curious about the ways retailers - especially small online sellers - are using social networking sites. When we conducted a survey on social networking last year, only 51 percent of the people who responded to the survey were on Facebook. Is it time to do another survey to see how things have changed? Do you use Twitter, Squidoo, Facebook, LinkedIn, Ning, YouTube and MySpace for ecommerce-related business, and if so, how are you using them?




Comments (25) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data   Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data

by: kw

Tue Jul 27 23:36:51 2010

Wishing so much info online about me could be taken back, and a lot of it is there because of my own ignorance.

The Amazon/Facebook connection is, in my mind, an invasion of privacy although I'm sure many will disagree with me.  Facebook has been plagued with hackers and viruses to the point that I'm afraid to use my account, and certainly wouldn't want it linked to my Amazon account.

Even worse is Google mapping.  I was shocked to learn anyone with my physical address can find a map to my front door and even a close-up pic of the house itself.  It's a stalker's dream come true.

Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data   Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data

by: Lisa This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Jul 28 02:01:29 2010

i use face book to market my etsy shop very limited though. just to a handful of friends & family who primarily just want to check out my etsy stuff. But i use twitter as advertising and a way tto chat with my etsy people. i have had alot of sales from twitter.

Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data   Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data

by: Et tu, Brute!

Wed Jul 28 02:37:29 2010

I use Facebook. Very easy to use.

Excellent networking potential.

Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data   Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data

by: Et tu, Brute!

Wed Jul 28 02:38:48 2010

By the way, care to address the most unpopular CEOs?

Here ya go:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/6-Unpopular-CEOs-Who-Still-us
news-204968394.html?x=0

Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data   Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Wed Jul 28 02:53:36 2010

Facebook has recently added new privacy settings that allow you to restrict your personal information. I *think* you can set it so that your friends can't share your info, but I'm not 100% certain.

Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data   Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data

by: love em but

Wed Jul 28 06:28:37 2010

My life is to busy to be bothered by a social grouping of facebook.

I don't have time to be bothered by such nonsense.

Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data   Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data

by: Brenda

Wed Jul 28 06:31:23 2010

I have several friends who keep sending me reminders that they want me to join Facebook, but I haven't, due to the concerns you've mentioned in your article about privacy, hacking and viruses.  Maybe I'm just a dinosaur, but I'll find other ways to market my stuff.

Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data   Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data

by: Jeff S
Web Site

Wed Jul 28 06:43:57 2010

After living so many years in the walled-garden known as eBay I would never commit to another service, like Facebook, that changes the level of access to data constantly without express user permission.  Today its Amazon that has your info!  People who think this is acceptable really need to examine why facebook is so important to their lives.  Is it envy-driven?

Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data   Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data

by: Red Ink Diary This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Jul 28 08:15:33 2010

I don't know if it is a generational thing but Facebook makes me very uneasy, if not downright queasy. I have not been active on FB since the privacy policy changes/scandal/fuss.

I just don't 'get' the 'friends' with a bunch of people I don't know and probably wouldn't want to know thing.

While I am polite and friendly with my customers we are not instant intimate friends and I don't believe they would want to be any more than I do.

Don't tell me that the CEO of some major corporation has all his personal information on Facebook linked to his business's page.

I do use Twitter, not as much as I used to because it can be a time suck but again, anyone who only uses Twitter to broadcast advertisements goes in my lowest priority column on TweetDeck.

According to Google Analytics I have never made a sale through FB or Twitter. It would seem to be a more productive use of time to improve SEO.

Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data   Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data

by: Tom

Wed Jul 28 08:31:45 2010

I see no value for me in linking my Facebook with my eBay because it's doubtful any of my acquaintances would necessarily be interested in buying the kind of niche collectibles I sell.

Among the music collectibles I sell are music videos.  I've tried uploading key clips from certain rare videos to YouTube in hopes that somone interested in that niche genre might see the YouTube clip, be interested in perhaps tracking down the full concert video, and so look for the video on eBay or amazon and find my listings.  (It's a niche collectible market and 85% of the time I'm the only one who has a copy available for sale.)  After six months, though, there's no evidence that this has driven any eBay sales.

Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data   Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 28 09:28:58 2010

eCrater.com has also added a Facebook link, if you wish to use it. I do use it on occasion and find that the items I link to have a few more lookers, but no sales can be attributed to the Facebook link.

Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data   Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 28 10:26:00 2010

Maybe its just me...but I fear sites like Facebook.  There is something so wrong in putting your information on the net and circulating it among your "friends" and anyone else who seems to want it.  I'm amazed at the amount of people on Facebook saying what they say and showing personal information the way they do.  Its like a large section of the population has lost its mind and gone back to their childhood!  I also don't like that now when you read an article and want to comment, mostly likely they want you to sign into facebook or yahoo, google, etc.  You can no longer simply post!  What in the world is going on??????

I have a facebook page - but most of the information I put on it is not correct ;-)

Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data   Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data

by: Et tu, Brute!

Wed Jul 28 11:40:07 2010

I found some of the posters a little naive.  While I understand the concerns being expressed here, I believe it is like closing the barn door after the livestock has vamoosed.

I have several friends of the older variety who still mail their paper checks to pay their bills, don't own computers OR do next to nothing on the computer, and all their "info" is STILL out there!

Unless one owns the means to take out all the satellites in space, for instance, inputing an address is all it takes to have a route to your house mapped out and nothing whatsoever to do with what you have done online! Likewise your financial status!  Some of it may be by guess, but if you have gone to school/college, and your personal info is on record, been employed, and your personal info is on record, or filed a tax form of any kind, and your info is on record, you are in "the system".  

These are examples, so please, there is no need for flaming.  Just the using of common sense.  

One of those friends won't even use her debit card, and her info is out there.

I guess my point is, your basic info is out there.  

And yes, Facebook has privacy settings you can make use of.  Use them.

Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data   Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data

by: Fredrick Nijm
Web Site

Wed Jul 28 11:43:19 2010

I use Facebook, Twitter, and Ning for eCommerce and encourage our users to utilize the same in promoting their business and instilling a level of trust in the process. Having a Facebook Fan page for example can allow you to connect with your buyers in a way you never did before.

Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data   Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data

by: anonymous

Wed Jul 28 13:15:59 2010

If you don't want your information all over the internet, DO NOT PUT IT UP THERE. It's as simple as that.

Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data   Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data

by: Digmen1
Web Site

Wed Jul 28 14:50:03 2010

There are now 500 million Facebook users. (and growing expotentially)
Some of them spend a lot of time on Facebook. (more than online shopping ?)
So I think it would pay not to ignore Facebook.

Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data   Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data

by: Et tu, Brute!

Wed Jul 28 17:35:37 2010

This is an article I return to.  I can think quickly off the top of at least 20 sellers with bustling expanding business that use Facebook and or Twitter, yet none of the posters here seem to have a clue.  And please, that is not intended as a slight.  One of my friends has now close to 3,000 on her FB and her business is growing so fast she is considering hiring part time help.

I am just curious about the correlation of posters here don't use FB or Twitter.  

It is interesting, though, that none of them are ebay sellers, either.

Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data   Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data

by: Pedro

Wed Jul 28 19:45:14 2010

I doubt if anything bad will happen to you if you use Failbook, but it's just kind of a creepy site for people with no life to sit around and "update" their cyber-friends every time they get something out of the fridge. If it works for you, more power!

Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data   Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data

by: Helene

Wed Jul 28 23:20:19 2010

Setting up on Facebook with a fan page and the SortPrice Facebook store was probably what saved my business from this recession. Any retailer who has not embraced social media yet will fall behind.

Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data   Ecommerce Wants Your Facebook Data

by: Come on

Thu Jul 29 03:31:25 2010

Facebook will collapse at the end. They are not about providing their users with benefits. They are about abusing their knowledge towards marketing methods.

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