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Are Facebook's Privacy Changes Enough to Appease Irate Brands?

Facebook has announced some significant changes - again - to its privacy policies. These include the ability to opt out of applications, to hide a friends’ list, interests - including participation in the confusing Community Pages, the ability to opt out of instant personalization, to hide past information and one-click settings (For a complete summary see AllFacebook post on the changes.).

But are these enough to appease brands, some of which have become upset with Facebook- despite its 500 million base and ad opportunities. Giving users more control over the Community Pages will be a start as that has quickly become a sore point for many corporate Facebook users.

In one respect they are good for brands because they increase visibility, writes Non Profit Quarterly. "If somebody had mentioned your organization in their profile, Facebook automatically linked the mention to your organization's page. Particularly universities benefit here, as most users have entered their alma mater." But the community pages also confused users. Worse, an organization doesn't know what's being said about it, so the staff can't reply. “A post to an automatically-generated community page could go unanswered, as the organization might never see it. If it was a major donor, that could be a blow to your bottom line.”

Jeremiah Owyang, a partner at Altimeter Group, wrote that their creation shifts power away from brands. Furthermore, "because these Community Pages were launched without the consent or preview from brands, skepticism has emerged on trust of these new features." He suggests brands both organize and expand their presence on more than a few social networks as a defense - or even offense - strategy.


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