Amid backlash, Facebook tries to save face - CNN.com
This is akin to me taking the email/IP address of everyone that's registered here and on ss.org and spamming every one of you with ads that link back to my eBay referral account. "I'm just helping you experience the content with your friends!".Facebook's latest modifications make it pretty clear that the company is eager to spread its brand even further across the Web -- and that's left some privacy advocates a little freaked out as they look at the vast amount of personal information that Facebook has on hand.
But Facebook, of course, maintains that this is all ultimately good for the Internet and everyone on it, and that it's in everyone's best interest to jump on board:A post Tuesday on the Facebook developer blog explains that the new "social plug-ins" are now implemented on over 100,000 sites, and that they work.
Social plug-ins were one of Facebook's big announcements at F8, the developer conference that the social network held last month.
They take its existing Facebook Connect product a few steps further by bringing users' Facebook friends lists to external sites and showing them their friends' activity. A news site, for example, could show which stories your Facebook contacts have been recommending and commenting on.
CNN.com is one of several dozen sites that partner with Facebook to display and share users' interests.
Facebook says the Amazon-owned Internet Movie Database has seen referral traffic from Facebook double after it started putting Facebook "like" buttons on individual pages in its entertainment directory so that members can easily share their favorite movies and TV shows on their profiles; more than 350,000 "likes" have been pushed to Facebook through IMDB.
For news sites, Facebook reports that its referral traffic has increased 290 percent for the Washington Post and 250 percent for ABC News.
"We think the story behind these stats is more important than the stats themselves. As we've found on Facebook, people share, read, and generally engage more with any type of content when it's surfaced through friends and people they know and trust," the post by Facebook developer representative Justin Osofsky read.
"We're bringing activities that have been social in the offline world, such as sharing news, reviews, and sports enthusiasm, and giving sites a way for their users to experience their content with friends."
Unfortunately, though these numbers are a bright spot for potential partners, they don't do much for irritated users who say that Facebook is more or less toying with their personal information.