Advertisers are mad at Facebook and their much-maligned Beacon application. The users of Facebook have been up in arms. It seems all people can talk about.
So, as Henry Blodget says:
it's no wonder that, in the face of ongoing brand-damaging stubbornness, Facebook observers are beginning to call for CEO Mark Zuckerberg's head.
This is after he says:
...after applauding Facebook for acknowledging user complaints and changing Beacon, commentators are starting to notice that the system still isn't "opt-in" (or even permanently opt-out). Why it isn't is no mystery: The vast majority of Facebook users would never use it, making it difficult for Facebook to support its assertion that Beacon et al are the most important media and advertising developments in the past hundred years.
You know, Beacon is over-reaching, but ... "The vast majority of Facebook users would never use it?" I've got to pull back from that a bit.
A very large number of users already had widgets that provided many of the Beacon features. I can't see how they'd never use Beacon if it were opt-in, unless it was opt in for everything in the world. It seems pretty likely that if Facebook allowed the same initial configuration of Beacon that Plaxo allows for Pulse - there would be no problems here. The current configuration almost gives you this.
The other issues about secrecy at Facebook simply come from being a large company. It's clear that Facebook is now a large company. Along with their size, comes the desire to grow ever-bigger and hoard ever-more information. When they were a small company and 50% growth meant hoarding 50% more information - that's okay. But now they are huge and to grow they need to hoard ever larger chunks of data and attention.
Like Microsoft and Google before them, so goeth Facebook.
Welcome to the party Mark!