May 25, 2010

Online Business Lessons from Facebook

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been stalked by the public eye over concerns of Facebook’s cumbersome privacy settings and an ever-shifting privacy policy. We can learn from Facebook…

Making privacy settings difficult to change or inaccessible frustrates anyone. Mashable reports that PC World columnist JP Raphael noted: “Achieving maximum privacy on Facebook now requires you to click through 50 settings and more than 170 options, and even that won’t completely safeguard your info.” How will this go over with Facebook users who value privacy? It’s very likely they’ll lose trust.

Privacy policy are eminent for any social network, but poor communication of privacy policy or settings changes is never a good idea. In fact, it’s becoming a major reason for Facebook users who wish to delete their accounts. Matt McKeon created a chart that shows the evolution of Facebook privacy since 2005. How do you think Facebook’s lack of transparency will go over with users? Again. They’ll lose trust.

Want do these two Facebook mistakes teach us? Put usability and transparency high on your list, ask for feedback and listen to your brand. Communicate well, and you can build trust with your visitors.

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