Well, by now, you have probably heard the news: Facebook launches a new service, which enables marketers to ask the email addresses of the people that use the applications businesses and marketers have developed.
This is important news since it allows marketers to combine email and Facebook and opens up a range of opportunities to interact in various ways with the users of the social networking site.
It’s a significant move by Facebook in the further integration of social media and email marketing.
Of course there are some rules. Facebook is not becoming a provider of email lists that email marketers, who haven’t heard about terms such as permission and spam, can use for pushing out unwanted promotions (don’t laugh, there are still plenty of companies thinking that’s what email is all about).
It’s all about opt-in and permission. The rules (Facebook calls them policies):
a. You must not give or sell users’ email addresses to any third party or affiliate.
b. You must comply with the provisions of the Federal Trade Commission’s CAN-SPAM Act and all other applicable spam laws (e.g., provide a visible and operable unsubscribe mechanism and honor opt-out requests within 10 days).
d. Emails you send must clearly indicate that they are from you and must not appear to be from Facebook or anyone else. For example, you must not include Facebook logos or brand assets in your emails, and you must not mention Facebook in the subject line, “from” line, or body header.
e. All emails to users must originate from the same domain, and you must provide us with the name of that domain in the Facebook Developer application used to manage your application.
I have a few concerns. One is that, well, policies are policies, and there’s two kinds of people in this world: those that adhere to the rules and those that don’t. Second concern: as a social network, you can launch what you want; in the end, the users decide. So it will all depend from what the people think about the service, not the marketers.
Just my two cents. What are yours?
More on Facebook’s developer wiki.