So I open my email this morning to discover that I now have one less friend than I did yesterday. On Facebook. Turns out my friend Jordan saw yesterday's NYT article about Facebook's new advertising strategy; that they plan to sell "ads that display people’s profile photos next to commercial messages that are shown to their friends about items they purchased or registered an opinion about," and she packed up and got outta Dodge. [In case you're wondering what happens when someone de-activates their Facebook account, it's like they never existed. Photos, profile, everything, down to the two sweet wall posts she left on my profile. Sad.] Here's what she had to say:
Hi All - I just deactivated my Facebook account. I've totally enjoyed our silliness with it and all, and it was a good experiment to see what it's all about (as much as anyone in their 30s can actually understand that!), but I am too cynical to think it's not just a way to use our information for other purposes. Here's an article from today's NYT that prompted me to go ahead and cancel. Sorry! xo, Jordan
So, much as I cherish the thought of discovering daily that my friends are partial to, say, Kiss My Face bodywash, Dr. Scholl's arch supports and The Drive By Truckers, I'm a little horrified. I'm still on Facebook, still happy to be zombified, given flowers and beer, have sheep thrown at me, whatever. But to become a spokesmodel? Share THAT level of detail? And, eeew, KNOW that level of detail about everyone?
So I ask you: has the advertising model now moved into the "yuck" zone? Will I be getting more of these breakup emails from friends, or is it more a generational thing? And what about all the cool and wonderful sites out there that are being built on the hope that advertisers will pay the bills one day? I know what the pundits think. What I really want to know is what you think. And in the meantime, I guess I'll just have to go out there and make a few more friends.