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Facebook Tests 'Want' Button To Hoard User Data, Save Its Stock Price 98

colinneagle writes with news that Facebook is beginning to roll out tests of "want" and "collect" buttons in an attempt to bring users and retailers closer together. "The company is working with Victoria's Secret, Pottery Barn, Michael Kors, Wayfair, Neiman Marcus, and Smith Optics. The difference between 'liking' and 'wanting' would be like discovering the holy grail of datamining. Inside Facebook said that although the 'Want' button is different than the Want plugin that developer Tom Waddington noticed in June, the company may eventually offer it as a plugin. Unsurprisingly, Facebook wants to keep people on the site as opposed to leaving to visit Pinterest. Collections will offer retailers a Pinterest-like option to engage buyers, offer users a way to collect images, while also collecting even more data about users. For example, Facebook asks, 'Why are you collecting this?' Regardless of a user's answer, the wants and collects will surely be used to deliver targeted ads. Eventually, the Collections feature could help Facebook generate more revenue."
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Facebook Tests 'Want' Button To Hoard User Data, Save Its Stock Price

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  • FUCK YOU (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:07PM (#41602657)

    Give me a fucking 'dislike' button already, you shitheads!

    • Re:FUCK YOU (Score:5, Funny)

      by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:10PM (#41602681)

      So, you should "want" images of your "dislike" button!

      2 birds, one stone!

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      I have a "FarceBook sucks"-button right here. Never needed it, as I never started to waste time on that stupid thing.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Good for you! Please, take a few moments and reward yourself with that feeling of smug self-satisfaction.

    • I believe the button you are looking for is 'Hate.'

    • Re:FUCK YOU (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @10:18PM (#41603529)

      They never will, it'd cause way to much embarrassment. Oh, that company page you put up has 2 million dislikes? Oops, looks like a Facebook page was a bad idea. Yeah no, Facebook wouldn't do that to their bottom line. Interesting as it would be to see if you could "Dislike" Facebook itself...

      • If that was the case, they would put dislike buttons on everything and charge page owners $$$ to remove them.

      • They don't have to enable dislikes by default... make it optional. Sometimes a "dislike" option is much more appropriate than a "like" button, like when you post bad news. That at least makes it more social.
      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        ...if you could "Dislike" Facebook itself...

        But you can. Vote with your wallet, or in their case, your date. Do not give it to them.

        I have all of facebook in my DNS server pointed towards oblivion (You could use your hosts file as well). I don't have an account with them. The one I had was not my real name.
        So unless people host the linking image on their own server, I don't even see them.

    • Re:FUCK YOU (Score:5, Funny)

      by Yvanhoe ( 564877 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @10:27PM (#41603581) Journal
      A designer I know handles strips of "dislike" stickers, to put on advertisements in the street. I have a roll in my bag...
      • I should get some so I can put them on flyers for Indie bands who post their stuff on street lights or other places, causing clutter and litter.

    • They're not interested in people having an opinion. They want good little consumer whores.
  • Yay! (Score:2, Funny)

    by ukpyr ( 53793 )

    I, for one, welcome our new (?) datamining overlords.

    Come on, this is making it too easy for dataming as a profession. This isn't even mining, this is being handed little golden chunks, the only thing left for facebook to do is to raise it up and gleefully say "Look what I have!"

    I know a lot people are really concerned about corporations connecting your consumer/personal dots and figuring out some Deep Secrets, but go look at what google thinks you are interested in (without signing into your google accoun

    • Re:Yay! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bored ( 40072 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:16PM (#41602749)

      Clear your cookies and try from a different IP or browser. Google definitely appears to be doing "guilty by association" type functions where people sharing IP's get similar results.

      • by ukpyr ( 53793 )

        Honestly I feel a bit jilted by Google. Don't they want to get to know the real me? ; )
        You can generally get a fair idea about where a person is by IP, but really, does it tell you very much that I'm in northern Illinois? That's a pretty big demographic. I'd have to ask their engineers "why bother?"

    • Google knows I like hookers (that's all I ever use Google Voice for) but I never get ads for hookers. You can't explain that.
  • awesome (Score:4, Funny)

    by Osgeld ( 1900440 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:18PM (#41602759)

    When this hits I am totally going to log in to a fake account and click want on dilldo's and refried beans, nothing else

  • by siddesu ( 698447 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:28PM (#41602837)
    It shows up on the blind spot of your retina when you install three plugins, noscript, ghostery and adblock. I see hardly any facebook anymore. Makes it very easy to avoid other crap sites, too.
  • by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:29PM (#41602841)

    I don't mind trading some personal information for some services, but I don't see how helping FaceBook out on this by telling them what I want to buy helps me. If they can give me discounts, then perhaps, but I don't see that mentioned.

    • I don't mind trading some personal information for some services

      The "some services" you receive are the monitored interactions with your friends and family. The data from said interactions may be sold to marketing research people. This is all a benefit to you, though you may not yet understand just how much you will benefit from this wholesale usage of your data.

    • by Sqr(twg) ( 2126054 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @02:06AM (#41604691)

      You didn't get paid to write that, and you did it anyway, just because you like to tell other people what you think.

      While /. comments are for people who like to tell others their opinions about nerd stuff, facebook posts are for people who like to tell others what they like, or what they had for breakfast. It's not that different really.

      I think the "want" buton might work well with fb's target demographic, but I'd still not buy any of their stock until it has dropped at least another 99.7 %.

  • by game kid ( 805301 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:29PM (#41602847) Homepage

    Save its stock price? Nah, I'm pretty sure that machinery served its purpose. Now Zuckerberg just needs to sell it off to Dewey Cheatam & Howe Capital LP, reap that private equity money from the middle- and lower-tier firings, and enjoy his *clears throat* well-earned retirement.

    This Want stuff is just to wring out a few remaining Dumb Fucks(tm), that their data may fund the Not-Yet-Fired for a little while more.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Indeed. How the Facebook IPO was different from a somewhat camouflaged and utterly immoral Ponzi-scheme escapes me.

      I think impounding of all ill-gotten gains and life in prison would be the right appreciation for it.

  • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:31PM (#41602863)

    Imagine for a moment, the profoundly funny and silly trends that could run from clicking "want" on simple, stark statements, like:


    Responsibility in Industry and Politics

    Or even just silly stuff, "celebrities eating hotdogs"

    • by ukpyr ( 53793 )

      You rule!

      Lets assume they don't just blindly process wants somehow though. This is well beyond their abilities I'm sure, but you could try and figure out what is in a picture automatically. I would HOPE someone has some logic to weigh where the image came from, like a shopping site is a good clue it's useful whereas lolcats is not as useful.

      So to solve for that, go to amazon, find a unicorn mask and want it. Now make a shopping site that ties into and want all the lowest margin items, or all the

    • There is much potential for awesomeness here.

      • Me? I like to dabble in cookery, and had a hypothetical conversation with my sister concerning weed.

        What I would place as a series of fake products for people to "want"?

        "Stoner Joe's Finger Lickin' Cickin!"

        Featuring a an "herb roasted" rotissery chicken, slathered in premium pot resin, and speckled with crushed thyme, rosemary, and lemon pepper.

        And "Mary Jane's olde fashioned honey", a 50-50 mix of cannabis resin and pure honey, from bees exclusively fed on marijuana flowers. (100% organic, pesticide free!)

    • This could be even bigger than when we elected Hank the angry drunken dwarf as the most beautiful man to People Magazine's first internet voting contest.

      THIS! might just get me to finally sign up for a FB account - just to screw with them....... Let's make this happen Slashdotters!

  • by rueger ( 210566 ) * on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:38PM (#41602915) Homepage
    Why anyone would care about the many ways that Facebook mistreats their data sources - ah, users - is beyond me. Unlike Google they never even bothered to pretend to be anything but money-grubbing capitalists with no problem whatsoever with Doing Evil.

    From day one their modus operandi has been to push things to the point where even their most loyal users rebel, then back off just enough to quell the noise. And then to repeat, moving the bar even lower with each step.

    Yeah I use Facebook, but I also am pretty picky about what information I leave on their servers. Judging by the utterly bizarre collection of ads that show up, I must be doing something right. Today they're promoting: Lord of the Rings Online; Fast and EZ Debt Reduction; Diamond Jewellery; Fitness Membership; Joint Pain Relief; and allegedly "luxury" Real estate, none of which are even remotely interesting to me. Google at least manages to place ads that I might click on.
    • by lister king of smeg ( 2481612 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:54PM (#41603035)

      i used to get similar results but that is because i marked all of the ads as "sexually explicit". for a while i didn't have any ads now i don't because of adblock and noscript

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )
      I get a lot of ads on Facebook for military gear, military dating, and degree programs for soldiers. I have a Master's degree, have a girlfriend, and have never served in the military(although I have several Facebook friends that have, in different services)
    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      Yeah I use Facebook, but [...]

      And that is your problem right there.
      I have NO idea what has been promoted and even if it were ALL ads that I would not only was willing to buy, but was actually looking for. Even if it would be 100% what I was looking for, I would still not use them. I do not value a company for their marketing results.

      Also I know they are not interested in individual users. Every marketing company knows they will NEVER have 100% targeted results.

      With direct marketing we were happy if we had 1

    • Why anyone would care about the many ways that Facebook mistreats their data sources - ah, users - is beyond me. Unlike Google they never even bothered to pretend to be anything but money-grubbing capitalists with no problem whatsoever with Doing Evil. From day one their modus operandi has been to push things to the point where even their most loyal users rebel, then back off just enough to quell the noise. And then to repeat, moving the bar even lower with each step.

      This should absolutely be NO surprise whatsoever based on what Mark Zuckerberg has said about Facebook's privacy on and off-record. Off-record, he said he didn't believe in privacy (according to an employee). On-record, he talked about "granular control", and said other things to the effect that he would erode privacy as much as he can get away with. In my mind, he's absolutely admitted that he is enthralled to the advertisers-- who should rightly be understood to be THE primary Facebook customers, NOT u

  • A strange game... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gothmolly ( 148874 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:46PM (#41602975)

    The only winning move is not to play.

    Is Facebook relevant anymore? It is starting to have that Myspace-like stink about it.

    • by Longjmp ( 632577 )
      Has it ever been?
      FB always reminded me of geocities (for those who remember):
      "Hello, my name is Jenny, I'm 13 and this is my cat, and I'm interested in dancing."
      • Geoshities was useful for storing images, back when the net was young.

        I used to use it in the same way I use photobucket today, up until they started acting like babies about hotlinked images.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gweihir ( 88907 )

      It never was relevant. Zuckerberg and accomplices inflated it with what was basically a modified Ponzi-scheme until they could cash in big.

      It serves one purposes though: Separate the stupid and the gullible (with FarceBook account in actual use or, worse, stocks) and the smarter ones. Yes, not playing is the right move.

      • by hsmith ( 818216 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @11:38PM (#41604021)

        It never was relevant

        Maybe not to you, but this is a blatantly stupid statement. It has a massive user base, of addicted people.

        I personally no longer use it, but it is stupid to say it is "irrelevant"

        • by cyn1c77 ( 928549 )

          It never was relevant

          Maybe not to you, but this is a blatantly stupid statement. It has a massive user base, of addicted people.

          So does heroin. Is that relevant to you?

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by gweihir ( 88907 )

            It never was relevant

            Maybe not to you, but this is a blatantly stupid statement. It has a massive user base, of addicted people.

            So does heroin. Is that relevant to you?

            My point exactly.

    • The only winning move is not to play.

      Is Facebook relevant anymore? It is starting to have that Myspace-like stink about it.

      The funny thing is Myspace is getting a reboot to where it at least looks clean and far from the HTML-cut-n-paste abomination it was. I agree with a publisher friend that Justin Timberlake is shrewder than many give him credit for []; Myspace might actually bounce back. Meanwhile (after I left, thankfully) Facebook started Timelines, which looks almost equally horrid from a web design perspective. I mean, really, I do recall when users touted Facebook over MySpace (yes, the capital S was intentional there)

  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:07PM (#41603103)

    Zuckerberg and accomplices have known this for some time. The IPO timing and modalities were no accident at all. Now that their Ponzi-scheme is collapsing, they have some motive to slow down the collapse to be not too obvious, but that is it. This thing has no future at all as it lacks a viable business model.

  • by macwhizkid ( 864124 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:11PM (#41603125)

    This probably is not well-known to people except those working in neuroscience/behavioral psych research, but "wanting" and "liking" are part of a drug addiction theory called incentive salience []. The basic notion is that "liking" something is a momentary, pleasurable feeling of hedonism. It passes quickly, but it's powerful reinforcement that drives you to want that hedonic feeling. The "wanting" is where motivation and incentive comes into play to drive the craving for reward (be it drugs, food, whatever).

    Think about it: what's the last time you ate a cheeseburger? Do you have a vivid memory of it? Probably not.

    But do you want a cheeseburger? Especially one with cheese, bacon, medium rare, fries on the side... mmm...

    Anyway, the theory explains why addiction persists and drug abusers fall back into old habits, even when they've been clean for years. Salient cues are too much to ignore (a needle, a bus stop they used to meet their dealer, etc). The theory works with rats getting drugs, food, sex... No reason it can't be applied to website visitors too.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Very interesting point! Makes a lot of sense to me.

      I suspect equally immoral techniques were used to make it as big as it is to allow the big cash-out. (Never had an FB account, I just cannot seem to care.) I hope this is just a last-ditch effort to delay the coming FB stock-price crash, but given how little people have rational control over their desires...

      Side note: Cheeseburger??? Urgh!

    • But do you want a cheeseburger? Especially one with cheese, bacon, medium rare, fries on the side... mmm...

      I liked the part where the women could remember, "two all beef patties with lettuce, cheese and special sauce on a sesame seed bun" while standing in front of the White House, but not the Pledge of Allegiance.

  • 1. User wants friends.
    2. User collects likes.
    3. User likes collections.
    4. ???
    5. Profit!
  • by CohibaVancouver ( 864662 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:43PM (#41603327)
    What I "want" is a powerful database that can search for specialty products *in stock* at local brick and mortars. I want a pair of brown leather closed toe, closed heel sandals, brown leather, size 11.5. Who has them in stock in a store a 30km radius from me? It's Sunday and I want an 8-port gigabit hub *now* - I'm prepared to pay up to $50. Where can I go get one? In the city where I live (Vancouver, Canada) these types of searches are impossible.
    • Well, you have IRI or AC Neilson data in which to base your search. Both come at millions of dollars per snapshot if you want 24 hours turn around. They come in CSV files. You have to aggregate it yourself too. 2 years of all collectible data for Wal-Mart and it's competitors is ~500GB-7TB for transaction data. That doesn't include inventory manipulations. Good luck.
  • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @10:16PM (#41603519)
    I've been suspicious ever since I saw my sister "Like" Unibet and TomWaterhouse (betting sites) and I know for a fact my sister doesn't gamble (motgage and kid, she doesn't have the cash) and when my tea totalling mate liked Johny Walker (hes also a bit of a hipster so if he did drink he'd drink some obscure brand of whiskey made by Scottish virgins that you've never heard of).

    So I think that Facebook is inserting these "likes" on the behest of advertisers.

    My Facebook Friend list is the same as my real friend list (I dont add any Tom, Dick or Harry that I've met somewhere, at some point in my life) so I notice when things are out of character for them.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I've got some bad news... they're fooling you. Your sister's been gambling with her kid's college fund to pay off your mate's bar bill. It's actually easier to deceive individual people irl than it is to to hide your desires from Facebook.

      (Oh, and you're a hater...)
    • I'm beginning to think the same thing. A couple weekends ago, my girlfriend was on fb on her phone, and she said "oh I didnt realize you stella artois?" Uh I dont actually... I think stella sucks and never would have liked it on fb, yet there I am in her feed as a sponsored story. I logged in and displayed all my likes and sure enough it was there.... I tried to locate when I liked it in my timeline but never did find it
  • Is there going to be a donotwant button too? (reserved for slashdot members)
  • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @11:00PM (#41603781) Journal

    Has no Like, +1, or Want button. It does have "-1", "Dislike" and "Do Not Want". If you were to post something, it would delete your post and insult you. However, it doesn't matter because it doesn't accept registrations (either gives server down errors or captchas with symbols not in unicode), so it's all academic anyway.

    • I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter and/or attempt to register on your site.
  • Look at the comparative valuations of FB cf. GOOG, AAPL or any of the other hot-button stock du jour. How much must the price of FB fall in order to bring the valuation of FB in line with other comparable stocks?
  • Will targeted advertising become a feedback loop and lose all cost effectiveness? If youre only going to show me products im interested in in the first place, why waste money on advertising it to me?

    • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @03:32AM (#41604987) Journal
      Never. They will not show you exactly what you want, but will make (hopefully increasingly better) guesses at what stuff you don't know about but might want. You "want"ed an iPhone? It won't show you more iPhones, but might show you accessories for it, or perhaps an ad for an Android phone trying to convince you that this is the better choice.
  • .. does that mean I'm a good target market?
  • Browsers are getting do not track options when a large number of sites are being plastered with Facebook Like, G+ and other nuisance tags from "social media" are little more than tracking cookies themselves, capable of tracking someone regardless of them having an account on these services or not. I realise there may be add ons to block these links but my feeling is there should be an opt-out built into the browser. If a person chooses to opt out these links are replaced with placeholders. If the user reall
  • by RevWaldo ( 1186281 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @09:43AM (#41606757)
    After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.

  • I've been clicking on the "Want" button on the Victorias Secret page all day, but I'm referring to the models.

    What happens next? Cuz so far, ... nothing.

    I think maybe it's broken.

  • What if all or most just decided to treat the 'want' or 'collect' button as if it were named "dislike"?

    FB cannot force us to treat the button according to the text that labels it.

    But too bad the masses would never know.

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