Thursday, September 29, 2011

Facebook's Ticker?

Now that Facebook has launched their new "ticker", a real-time news feed, almost everything you do is broadcast online: every song you listen to on Spotify (a music app), every story you read on Yahoo! News, and every video you watch on Hulu appears on Facebook's "ticker" for all of your friends to see. Spotify is the most intense example of forcing users to broadcast through Facebook. The company recently began to require new users to sign in with a Facebook account. Therefore, if you don't want to use Facebook, you aren't able to listen to music on Spotify. Even E-book reader Kobo is getting ready to launch "Kobo Pulse," an app that will broadcast what books you are reading. Even though it seems everything you do will be broadcast on Facebook, it is possible to turn it off. However, you can't choose to not have any updates broadcast on the "ticker" through Facebook. Instead, you must go to your settings in ALL of your accounts (Yahoo!, Spotify, Hulu, ect.) and turn off the feature, which becomes an inconvenience for many people who don't wish to share everything on Facebook.

There is only one way to stop all of the sharing altogether: delete your Facebook account. Consumers will have to make a descision of costs and benefits: does the benefit of being able to connect with people all over the world at any given time outweigh the cost of potentially having everything you do online broadcast for the world to see? Each user of Facebook will have to answer that question for themself.

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