Why Did Facebook Give Up on Beacon?

When speaking at the D6 Conference out in Carlsbad California, Mark Zuckerberg emphasized that Beacon was a big mistake. While I was personally a big critic of the system due to the inability to opt-in and the default setting of opt-out, I don’t think that Beacon was a horrendous idea. People want to let others know about some of the activities that they are up to online. Mark Zuckerberg tends to dismiss the entire program though and I think that it is a poor cop-out.

Little was said about Beacon as Kara Swisher moved on to the next question. As far as I’m concerned, Beacon wasn’t really a complete disaster. While it was a disaster among blogs, if you ask the average person what Beacon is, they probably can’t tell you. One person I spoke with last night mentioned that the difference between Microsoft and Google is that Google simply gives up on projects after trying to see what sticks whereas Microsoft remains persistent with their projects.

Facebook appears to fall into the Google category (in my broad generalization) in that they were not persistent when trying to develop Beacon. The system still works though and if you go to a few third-party sites, a notification will show up in your newsfeed. I’m not quite sure if Facebook has decided to kill Beacon or if they have quietly gone back to the drawing boards to work up a new strategy. Whatever is going on, simply dismissing the project just doesn’t seem like a good solution. Do you think Facebook should have just killed Beacon or is there potential in the project?

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