Maybe you’ve seen an advertisement on Facebook that says “Your friend Joe Smith liked X”. Using your personal network to establish familiarity. It’s not just a random local business trying to get my attention. My friend Joe must like their smoothies.
This is a powerful tactic. And it’s spreading. But so are the cries for privacy this technology may be breaching. Google and Mozilla have recently introduced ways to exclude yourself from this sort of advertising, a “do not track” feature similar to what cookies do on your browser. Bravo to these companies for stepping up and giving customers looking for privacy to ability to find it online.
However, for the rest of us, the power of social may be more helpful than scary. Using my friend’s behavior I trust to help make my local online decisions? That’s valuable. I’m keeping it.