Blog Post

More Facebook Changes On Way; Will Be Wide Open — Soon

The next major strategic move for Facebook — throwing the gates open wide — is being postponed at least a week while the staff and community recover from the feed fracas … That’s right: Facebook was so sanguine about the potential reaction to its new feed features, the plan was to follow that step a week later with opening the site to anyone willing to affiliate with a geographic network. Instead, the decision has been made to back off for a little bit. Spokeswoman Melanie Deitch told Forbes: “Last week, we learned we need to do a better job communicating on launches. We are going to think through how to better inform users, and we don’t want to risk expanded registration being a big issue on the heels of last week’s changes.”
Once registration is opened, new subscribers will have to affiliate with one of 500 cities or regions. The move takes Facebook a step closer to MySpace’s open frontier — something that isn’t likely to thrill those who see Facebook as an antidote to the massive News Corp. social network.
Depending on the POV, it’s either a necessary move or a big risk. It could even be both. Take the exclusive banner ad and sponsored link deal with Microsoft that starts this fall. As AdAge notes, : “The partnership … is expected to give a huge boost to Microsoft’s AdCenter Web ad platform, which has struggled to secure major distribution deals since its launch last year. But Microsoft can only benefit from the deal if Facebook can preserve its community.” Then again, Microsoft should also benefit from increased volume and more populated regional networks for target advertising.
No telling how this will go over with those Facebook subs still feeling jittery over privacy.
Related: Facebook Feature Fiasco: Zuckerburg Apologizes
Facebook Responds To Protests Over New Features With Possible Solution
More On Facebook: Can A Network Be Too Social?