Connect with Facebook - Huffington Post

Just as I post Privacy on Facebook’s Social Graph I read Huffington Post Readers Dislike “Connect With Facebook” Feature via All Facebook. The ‘Connect With Facebook’ feature (just recently released on the Huffington Post site) allows Huffington Post to suggest articles based on your Facebook profile; likes, bio, etc.

Here’s a few comments on the users reaction to the new feature (via All Facebook post):

“I don’t want any such ‘recommend­ation’ feature to channel me away from stories or presume that my interests don’t shift,” wrote MyFatCat. “This might be good for your advertiser­s, but it’s bad for my reasons for coming here.”

A few other commenters echoed this reasoning, hinting that Huff Post readers generally consider themselves fairly well educated and read, and don’t really need stories to be “so intensely personalized” and “babyfed,” as Leviathan21 put it. “I think I’m capable of navigating my way around a website and clicking on articles that interest me. I don’t need someone to pick my articles for me,” he added.

Cdub1991 said that the move was “a rather obvious ploy to increase revenue by enhancing their ability to sell targeted marketing to their advertisin­g clients. I wish them well, but I think I’ll pass.”

There are two sides to every coin.

It’s always good to see both perspectives on issues.  I still think that having this relevancy, for majority of the user base, is an attractive feature. I for one have very limited time in consuming content (news, sports, gardening, etc.) outside of my day-to-day industry focus. Therefore, based on my Facebook profile, the articles that I want to read first show up first.

So this may leave us with two thoughts to ponder.

Facebook profile optimization.

In the future, as the social graph expands and connecting to sites via Facebook Connect, will Facebook users have to optimize their Facebook profiles? Will Facebook provide areas on our profiles where we know outside sites will capture that data first. So essentially, optimizing our Facebook profiles to better our ‘outside of Facebook, browsing experience.

Two prong approach.

When a user decides to view a site through the “Connect With Facebook” feature, would it make sense to have a subtle box appear with options? The options could include: view content based on your Facebook interests or view in standard mode, allow site to show friends activity on the site, allow to share via Facebook, etc. The idea is to give the user an option in choosing how to view the site. Granite the money making side of this approach would be against it as it would be harder for advertisers to target the users not choosing to utilize all of the ‘Connect With Facebook’ features.

What are your thoughts on this whole ‘Connect With Facebook’ approach? Do you find it becoming a nuance for your browsing experience or do you find it to be an added value when browsing, socially?

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