This evening I was added to a FB Group – apparently – you don’t have to agree to be joined in. FB Groups is a way to organize your contacts and get better control over your social networking. It looks pretty cool to me but the New York Times suggests that Facebook groups may engender even more privacy control issues for Facebook Groups users:
Mr. Zuckerberg said that other applications and services that use Facebook’s technology would be able to use Groups, and that Groups would help improve other parts of Facebook.“Knowing the groups you are part of helps us understand the people who are most important to you, and that can help us rank items in the news feed,” he said.
Knowing this – would you use Facebook Groups for a business networking application – like sales professionals talking to clients? I don’t think so. FB will never give up their profiling data since their revenue model is advertising-based. The low cost of running a private controlled social network like Elgg in the cloud should be a competitive alternative to FB Groups for a small business looking to leverage social networking to reduce cost of customer support, marketing and distribution of material.
Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, called the new service “double-edged
“Yes, it’s good to be able to segment posts for particular friends,” he said. “But you will also be revealing information to Facebook about the basis of your online connections.”