Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg Asks For A Pardon From Users About Beacon

Posted Dec 6, 2007

“About a month ago, we released a new feature called Beacon to try to help people share information with their friends about things they do on the web. We’ve made a lot of mistakes building this feature, but we’ve made even more with how we’ve handled them. We simply did a bad job with this release, and I apologize for it.”
-Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Founder [source: Facebook blog]

One thing that I admire about Mark Zuckerberg is the fact that when users revolt about certain features, he probably sits back in an office chair at his Palo Alto, Calif.-based office and contemplates what the strategy is to make his millions of users satisfied once again.  And he is not ashamed to admit when he is wrong and when the blame should be placed on him.  This was the case for Facebook Beacon, an advertising platform that tracks user consumer activity and announces it on the Facebook homepage to a users’ friends. 

Users publicly bashed on Facebook Beacon and advertisers slowly started pulling their business away from Facebook.  But today Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would give users the ability to completely turn off Beacon, including action-storing within Facebook databases.

“Last week we changed Beacon to be an opt-in system, and today we’re releasing a privacy control to turn off Beacon completely,” stated Zuckerberg “If you select that you don’t want to share some Beacon actions or if you turn off Beacon, then Facebook won’t store those actions even when partners send them to Facebook.”

This is a win-win situation.  Beacon is still built into the social network and Facebook can make money with it while at the same time, a user can easily not have to worry about an advertiser tracking them and announcing their consumer activities.