There’s some news being posted around today that Facebook Beacon is making a comeback! Well my friends, it never went away. You just probably never interacted with it if you didn’t notice it. If you’ve visited sites including Kongregate or Fandango you would have noticed that the service still functions as before. Techcrunch and Mashable also picked up the story.
Looks like even the technology media seems to forget about these things. No, Beacon didn’t disappear, it just wasn’t as obvious as it was previously. Another thing that will be functioning in a similar fashion to Beacon: Facebook Connect. While it doesn’t work exactly like Beacon, Facebook Connect will let anybody add Beacon like features to their site.
The only difference is that a suspicious looking pop-up at the bottom of the site doesn’t randomly show up when you visit a site. Instead you will be forced to log-in and grant access to the site you are visiting. In contrast, Beacon doesn’t require you to log-in. Beacon is actually more of a promotional offering in which sites can pay to have user actions published via their newsfeed (and mini-feed) without logging in to the service.
Is it a little more invasive? Definitely! Does it make sense for promotional purposes? Totally! So welcome back Beacon, a service which never actually went away. Some of us just forgot that it’s still around.