Paul M. Banas on Consumer Insights, Marketing Research, and the Digital Media Landscape
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Category — Public Relations

Facebook’s Beacon Flashes On and Off

Lost in all the blog coverage of Facebook’s Beacon saga, was how the whole series of events emphasized the speed at which a company in the digital space can make a mistake and then adjust course in the face of a blizzard of bad press.

If this had happened in traditional media, the timeline between the announcement, the groundswell of bad PR, Facebook’s realizing they had a problem, and action on their part to fix it, would have probably covered months. In this case, Beacon was announced and gone in less than 30 days.

  • On November 6th, Facebook announces the Beacon system to the broader world.
  • Within two weeks, Moveon.org launches a campaign against the new system, citing privacy concerns. Within another two weeks, over 50,000 people had joined the anti-Beacon Facebook group.
  • On December 5th, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologizes and announces substantial changes to the Beacon program, moving it from an opt out program to an opt in one, effectively killing it.

Flash on, Flash off.

December 7, 2007   No Comments