Facebook CEO on Beacon

    December 6, 2007

For the first time in over a year, there’s a serious enough issue with Facebook that CEO Mark Zuckerberg was compelled to write on the company blog (normally handled by lesser underlings developers and directors).

You get ten guesses what the issue was. And if you didn’t guess “Project Beacon,” you’re in big trouble. We’ve been covering this one for a while: announced almost a month ago, within weeks they were facing an FTC complaint threat and outraged users which lead to drastic changes.

And now they’ve done themselves one better: Facebook has apologized. Actually, Mark Zuckerberg did the apologizing, saying:

We’ve made a lot of mistakes building this feature, but we’ve made even more with how we’ve handled them. We simply did a bad job with this release, and I apologize for it. While I am disappointed with our mistakes, we appreciate all the feedback we have received from our users.

As part of this apology, he states that they didn’t find the right balance between convenience/ease of use and privacy/invasiveness. He also announced that Facebook users will now have the ability to turn off Beacon completely.

Interestingly, the last time Zuckerberg posted on the Facebook company blog, it was to apologize for the invasiveness of the News Feed and Mini-Feed features, introduced late in summer 2006. Sounds like they didn’t learn their lesson.

It’s so nice to hear someone admit that they did something wrong and that they’re working to fix it, isn’t it? But will MoveOn.org . . . move on? Will Facebook users forgive them?