Facebook’s New Privacy Policy

The night before Thanksgiving at around midnight Eastern Standard Time, Facebook sent out a notice regarding changes to its privacy policy, or as they like to call it, “Data Use Policy”. There are three main changes to the policy that are important to understand if you are going to be using the site:

  1. You are not going to be allowed to vote on policy changes anymore.
  2. Now, Facebook is allowed to share “information with affiliates”. Basically, Facebook will now be able to build unified profiles of users with information from all companies that it owns, like Instgram. Those drunken Thanksgiving Eve photos that you Instagrammed? Facebook can now use them to build a more complete profile of you and use that information to create an external ad network. 
  3. Additionally, Facebook is altering the way private messages function. They are in the process of changing your ability to block users from sending you private messages. Facebook wants to have filters for managing messages as opposed to the “Who can send you Facebook message” setting. Some are concerned that this will leave users with unwanted spam-like messages. 

You may have noticed a lengthy status update written in legalese cluttering your Facebook news feed for the past few days. As a response to these new privacy changes, many users have been posting a “copyright protection notice” as their Facebook status updates. This is not the first time a status like this has gone viral. However, nobody seems to realize that this is not effective on Facebook. The user agreement is the only binding legal contract between Facebook and user. If you are concerned about copyright, the best way to protect your work is to not post anything that you would not be willing to share with Facebook and its affiliate companies. If you are a business present on the social networking site, be sure to consult with a reputable social media agency for best practices. 

Getting business through social networking

A couple days ago I found an interesting discussion in Flickr. In the wedding photographers group some of the members were discussing about how to get business through social networks. The idea is simple, but effective: Post the pictures you take for a senior portraits session, engagement or a wedding on your Facebook and tag your customers. If your privacy options are set up so everyone can see those pictures, allow comments, and you will be the guy who took those cool senior portraits or those cute engagement shots, and that will surely bring you business.

The same idea applies to many different businesses. If you do a good job in whatever you do, you can probably ask that customer to left a recommendation for you on any of the social networking sites, or ask him to refer your site to other potential customers.

If you are writing a blog, write about what you have done for that customer and put pictures of up it if possible. Then let your customer know and he will surely show your blog entry to colleagues and friends, spreading the word about whatever service or product you do and how well you do it.

Word of mouth is proven to work well, and social networking is a powerful tool for keep spreading the word about your business.