Facebook Acquires Face.com and Settles Privacy Lawsuit

Recently, many people should have noticed Facebook’s ability to auto-tag friends when uploading pictures (the step right before you publish your photos in which Facebook will automatically grab faces of friends in the photo with a suggested friend name). This technological advancement is due to the acquisition of Face.com, a facial recognition software company. By acquiring this company, Facebook can now bring that technology in-house; which gives them control over the domain name, Face.com (awfully similar to Facebook.com).  

According to the Silicon Valley Mercury News, “People who use Facebook enjoy sharing photos and memories with their friends, and Face.com’s technology has helped to provide the best photo experience. This transaction simply brings a world-class team and a longtime technology vendor in house,” a Facebook spokeswoman wrote. The technology is said to help with auto tagging when uploading pictures from mobile devices. Face.com was acquired for an undisclosed sum, and has grabbed the unwelcoming attention from some in Europe and the United States concerning privacy issues (see picture at right, courtesy of Shalom Life).

To add to more of Facebook’s privacy issues, the social networking giant was recently faced with a class-action lawsuit relating to their Sponsored Stories. The proposed suit accused Facebook of violating California law in which a user’s “like” is featured as a Sponsored Story, without their compensation or an opt-out option. The suits settlement just went public this past weekend, forcing Facebook to pay $10 million to charity.

However, these Sponsored Stories are vital to social media marketing, acting like a viral word-of-mouth spread in the Facebook world. Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg even refers to Sponsored Stories as the “Holy Grail” of advertising. So what exactly are Sponsored Stories? You can find them on the right hand side of your Facebook homepage under, “Sponsored.” This sidebar will give you a list of various pages recommended to you, based on your friends liking. You will see their name and profile picture, along with other friend names who have liked the page as well. The option to click on that page, and even like it right from your homepage is given to you. This could appear as a roadblock to internet marketers because it is now up to the brands users to influence others to like their page.  But, in a consumers mind wouldn’t a friend liking a page be more influential for you to like it, then the brand personally telling you to? Let us know your thoughts and opinions below!


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