Facebook Messaging: Dance band on the Titanic?

Facebook Messaging: Would You Trust the Titanic?

ed note: A guest post from Dennis Dayman of Eloqua.

After reading Jim’s commentary in Monday’s “Facebook messaging rollout: Titan or Titanic?” I have to say, his points are valid and not uncommon.  It’s clear Facebook is looking to open a new service to advertisers in order to monetize the site. AOL did the same thing with its announcement this weekend.  AOL was free for a few years but when it tried to monetize its user base the Company alienated users.  Of course, the difference between AOL and Facebook is that AOL doesn’t have 350M users to gain from and Facebook does.

What worries me is Facebook’s checkered past when it comes to privacy breaches. How will they ensure these new data feeds don’t get into the wrong hands or used without permission?  Facebook needs to give clear notice on exactly what will happen to user data once it’s imported into the system.  Will it be used to create behavioral advertising?  Sold to third parties?  Is it possible information will end up in the wrong place? I can hear it now:

“Sorry, we accidentally posted your Gmail email to your wall, but it will NEVER happen again…”

Most people still trust Facebook since they’re unaware of past privacy breaches.  But some, like me, haven’t forgotten.  Facebook hasn’t done enough to make me feel safe about the information they already have on me today.  Should I trust them with my personal email?  My IM accounts?  My mobile SMS?  Not in my opinion.

And lastly for email marketers, this won’t hinder or help with your deliverability.  The only thing you have to worry about is how the new email addresses hosted on @facebook.com will be filtered like any other platform.  Email sent to a Gmail account will still have to be within Gmail standards.  Facebook is just hosting a copy of the email in their systems.  For instance, you can still log into Gmail and see the message there which means that the email went through their system.

Takeaway: Marketers have to offer users a better choice for how they want to be communicated to.  When asking users to opt-in, will they now have to offer multiple options of how they want to be targeted? However, I believe Facebook messaging will be the Titanic and not a Titan due to privacy concerns and limited incentives for marketers to focus on it.

Related post: Facebook Messaging: So, what’s wrong with email?

Dennis Dayman
Dennis Dayman

Dennis Dayman has more than 17 years of experience combating spam, security issues, and improving email delivery through industry policy, ISP relations and technical solutions. As Eloqua’s Chief Privacy Officer, Dayman leverages his experience and industry connections to help Eloqua’s customer maximize their delivery rates and compliance. Previously, Dayman worked for StrongMail Systems as Director of Deliverability, Privacy, and Standards, served in the Internet Security and Legal compliance division for Verizon Online, as a senior consultant at Mail Abuse Prevention Systems (MAPS), and started his career as Director of Policy and Legal External Affairs for Southwestern Bell Global, now AT&T.

As a longstanding member of several boards within the messaging industry, including serving on the Board of Director’s and the Sender SIG for the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG), Secretary/Treasurer for Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email (CAUCE), Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) Advisory Board, Dayman is actively involved in creating current Internet and telephony regulations, privacy policies and anti-spam legislation laws for state and federal governments.

Meet the author:

Jeff Ginsberg

Jeff Ginsberg

20+ year email marketing veteran who wants to help NewBees BEEcome eMail Marketing Ninjas. Want to contribute to our blog? We are always looking for eMail Marketing Ninjas to come share their knowledge and help NewBees create and send better eMail messages.

Connect with: Jeff Ginsberg

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