Is Facebook Shutting Down Beacon?

Last week, there was a little stir in the blogosphere when some users and developers discovered that Facebook’s Beacon service (designed to easily share information about your off-Facebook activity with friends inside Facebook) still exists.

In response to questions, Facebook said: “Since late 2007, Beacon has been available on dozens of participating sites after we made a series of improvements to ensure that users have control over what information is shared to their friends on Facebook. We are not accepting new developers into the program, and this is not using Facebook Connect.”

Since the PR challenges Facebook experienced after it launched Beacon last year at the same time it launched Social Ads, the company has not been talking about Beacon much at all. And although many thought Beacon went away, it never did. Rather, Facebook has simply stopped pushing the program with partners.

However, as of today, Facebook has removed Beacon from its Business Solutions page, and the old Beacon home page no longer exists.

Does removing any mention of Beacon from the company’s website mean Facebook is planning on shutting the whole program down? Or does Facebook just want to reposition Beacon (or some derivative of it) as a developer program (instead of an advertiser program) after some time?

For now at least, Facebook doesn’t want to promote Beacon to businesses any longer.

Check out the old Beacon FAQ: