Sharing What You Like: The Myspace Facebook Mashup
Myspace users can now log into their Facebook account and import into their profile their likes and interests from Facebook. Called the "Facebook Mashup", the information will in turn be used by Myspace to help create entertainment content especially for you.
As mentioned in a previous article, the Like button is starting to take on a powerful meaning on the Internet. It holds both value and a message. The sharing of Likes between Facebook and other websites allows the social graph to extend and become interconnected. Facebook effectively becomes the defacto hub, storing everything about you in their databases. This personal information is then controlled by you, through permission based settings.
One could view Facebook as a site that exists to obtain information from you in a voluntarily way. This being through the social dialogue and behavioral actions that you take on the site. Their aim is to encourage you to participate in the social events occurring on the site to learn more about you. This information can in turn be analyzed and shared externally through 3rd parties with your consent.
But to make this useful, there has to be a total sense of trust.
We all know Facebook and Myspace exist to make money off their visitors. The information you provide helps assist advertisers to target you better. The Myspace/Facebook relationship is but one where Facebook gets paid for sharing your consentual Facebook data, and Myspace obtains more information about you. In addition, advertisers who focus on the entertainment category, now have a much tighter focus group to sell into, making their marketing efforts more efficient and cost effective.
Let's take an example of where this monetization can occur. Lets say that on Facebook you engaged in discussions around the 60's rock group, The Beatles, In your social graph, there will be relationships between you, your friends, and other people whom share The Beatles as a common interest. Myspace, through you consent, would import periodically your Facebook information and analyze your discussions. By doing so, they can take your conversations and create categorical content by mashing them up with other related data they have about The Beatles and presenting them to you.
Your Myspace profile is then filled with more relevant content based on your likes in hopes that the advertisement attached through it is clicked and a purchase like a music CD or concert ticket takes place through Myspace advertisers.
Myspace is thus no longer perceived as a "social everything" community. Rather, it has redefined itself into a more narrow niche - a social entertainment community. As a Myspace user, you will now experience through information sharing and better quality content suited for you. Other websites who are very niche specific, can arrange the same partnership with Facebook to deliver Likes and information to topics of sports, books, movies, etc.
The Facebook Mashup Test
Although that's the idea behind it all, there's the actual implementation and perception by the user. Remember, he's the one who is offering up his personal information for something in return.
So I went to Myspace this morning to see just what all the fuss was about. I saw on their home page the Mashup section and clicked it to allow Myspace to pull in my Facebook information from my KerryOnWorld account.
Here are various screen shots I took in the process of setting up.
My Facebook Info Page
Just to keep things interesting, I took a screen shot of my Facebook Info page. Notice, there is very little information in it. No Tom Petty. No Tiger Woods. No Kate Plus 8.
Facebook Permission Screen Triggered From Myspace
To my surprise, Myspace and Facebook allow more information to be passed than I had originally thought.
It wasn't just about Facebook Like's but a whole lot more personal information. Notice that this includes basic name information, the names of all your friends, allowing Myspace to email spam you, allowing Myspace to spam your Facebook wall, the periodic fetching of information and the retrieval of profile information.
Myspace Generated Interest Screen
This screen basically shows that the algorithm Myspace uses to fill up the content slots are of a Top 10 nature. The categorize this into four types:
- Music Artists
- TV Shows
Next, I pressed the "Go Now" button to see what the excitement was all about.
Myspace Customized Generated Interest Screen
Big disappointment. The Celebrities, Music, Movies, and Television recommendations were so far off it was ridiculous. Only one match from my Facebook Info page existed - that of Chantelle Paige. On Facebook, I never had discussion or any links in regards to Cristiano Ronaldo Tom Petty, Taylor Swift, The Colbert Report, Jon and Kate Plus 8, etc. It started to look like a pre-set page of recommendations like Twitter.
Myspace-Facebook Mashup Results
This process took me back to my profile home page and looking at it, there wasn't anything different than I saw before. Nothing about Tiger Woods, Nothing about Tom Petty. Nothing about any of the Top 10 movies, celebrities, music artists, and television shows.
So let's see. I go out and give up my personal information from Facebook. Did this Mashup make me happy? Hell no!
The entire process seemed like a questionable passing of personal information between the two websites. No, sorry, this is just way too much information for what I got back in return. Allowing an application to retrieve my real name, all my friends whom I associate with and their real names, the ability to spam me via email and on my Facebook wall is not cool.
Myspace should only be able to retrieve my likes, music, tv, movies, and things of that nature.
Do yourself a favor. If you are going to use this feature, make sure that before you mashup, to check your Facebook privacy settings and set them to appropriate status. If you mess up, there is opportunity for more information to be passed than you originally desired.
Now I didn't take the time to figure out if Myspace allows you to re-Mashup again after you have changed privacy settings in your Facebook page. I thought about this for a bit and realized what was the point at this time - the thing is obviously not up to snuff. I did notice that Myspace did not add Facebook Mashup as an item to their main menu. That to me is a problem.
Why? This is important because if you later decide that you screwed up and set privacy settings to "Everyone" accidentally, Myspace has already sucked in all your information and may never erase it if you want a reset. For example, say you set your relationship and contact information to Everyone. Myspace goes and pulls that information from Facebook databases. That data now got transferred to a Myspace database. You later decide that its nobody's business who you are dating, and now want it private. Will you be able to re-Mashup and erase that data off Myspace databases?
About Kerry Kobashi
Kerry is the founder of KerryOnWorld. He lives in Silicon Valley.