Facebook’s Privacy

Facebook’s privacy crisis likely hasn’t done the company much lasting damage, according to reports suggesting that the site is still adding users and increasing traffic. Yet only Facebook has access to account-deletion data, so it’s hard for outsiders to say how much harm the privacy scandal has really done, notes Caroline McCarthy.

Facebook to put privacy changes to US Congress
Politicians have been among the most vocal critics of Facebook’s privacy changes, which have seen an increasing amount of personal information shared with friends on the site by default. Four US Senators wrote to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and chief executive, calling for “guidelines to be established for social networking sites..on how information can be shared or disseminated to third parties”.

After months of complaints on Facebook’s gung-ho attitude to its user’s private data, Mark Zuckerberg has relented. Facebook will streamline its privacy settings. But did Zuckerberg really do an about-face on privacy or not? Mark Zuckerberg’s confessional letter appeared today on the Washington Post’s Web site, and its headline suggests a no-nonsense piece of writing: “From Facebook, answering privacy concerns with new settings.” Straight away this sounds promising–Facebook is aware that people are concerned about how Facebook is exposing their information, and is acting on it.
Three Reasons Why a Brand Should Think About Pulling the Plug on FacebookFacebook has been staring down privacy challenges, user revolts and even legal onslaughts almost since its inception. With the social network’s membership heading for the 500 million mark, it would be inconceivable for a marketer that has painstakingly built its Facebook page to abandon it over yet another outcry over its privacy practices.
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Experiential: The National Pop Up

The National pops up …
In-demand indie band the National helped build buzz for the release of their fifth album, High Violet, by taking a page from the pop-up retail playbook (WSJ.com 5.8.10). For five nights starting the day of their new album’s release, the Brooklyn band and various artsy pals took over a previously vacant storefront on East Fourth Street, redubbing it the High Violet Annex. The 150-person capacity space was transformed into a free-flowing event featuring rotating live music performances, art exhibits and movie screenings. Details of just what was going down in the space on any given night were purposely kept scarce to maximize the need-to-be-there factor and build up word-of-mouth buzz.

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Road Warriors: A-Team v Google Earth, Darth Vader v Tom Tom

Hit the road
The first experience will put you in the seat of B.A. Baracus driving the iconic van throughout the maps of some world’s main cities.
It’s on YouTube, with the 3D Google Earth plug-in, and it is aimed at promoting the upcoming movie The A-Team..

Tom Tom has introduced a new feature letting users customizing their GPS device with some voices from Star Wars characters:
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Partnerships: Foursquare v Starbucks, Courvoisier v Daily Show

Foursquare Lands New Partnership With Starbucks
Starbucks is partnering with location-based social network Foursquare to offer discounts to its most loyal customers, Mashable reports. The “mayor” of each Starbucks location — the person who has checked-in there on Foursquare the most — is entitled to $1 off of any Frappuccino. It’s a one-time offer, lasting only for the next month, but Foursquare says it is confident that it will continue working with Starbucks on more offers in the future.

Courvoisier, the UK’s number one selling cognac, is to become the first sponsor of More4’s The Daily Show. The deal, brokered by ZenithOptimedia, forms part of a £15m investment in Courvoisier in the UK this year by its owner Maxxium. It will comprise a series of idents screened from 2 June for a whole year, aimed at promoting Courvoisier as a mixable and versatile drink for cocktails and punch. The move follows its 3D advertising campaign on Channel 4 in November.
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links for 2010-05-11

  • British consumers are planning to boycott BP products in response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which is threatening local wildlife and habitat. The energy company's brand reputation has been hit hard following the spill. A survey carried out for Marketing by Lightspeed Research showed that 15% of consumers intend to stop buying BP products in the aftermath of what US president Barack Obama called 'a massive and unprecedented environmental disaster'.

links for 2010-05-07

  • Facebook is preparing to launch location-based status updates for its users. But the social network is also planning to offer it to marketers, including McDonald's.

    As early as this month, the social-networking site will give users the ability to post their location within a status update. McDonald's, through digital agency Tribal DDB, Chicago, is building an app with Facebook would allow users to check in at one of its restaurants and have a featured product appear in the post, such as an Angus Quarter Pounder, say executives close to the deal.

  • Since the iPad went on sale a month ago, Apple has sold 1 million units, and users have downloaded an average of 12 apps per device, choosing from 5,000 available apps.

    Apple did not sell 1 million iPods until a year-and-a-half after its release, and it took two-and-a-half months to sell a million iPhone units.

    Happy News for Magazines

    The numbers may portend good things for the magazine publishing industry. Zinio, a company that offers digital versions of print magazines, says that its Magazine Newsstand and Reader was the No. 1 free news app downloaded by iPad owners, writes MediaPost. (via MediaBuyerPlanner).