Rejoice, Internet masses! Godly website Facebook has been forced to abandon Beacon, an advertising program that also published "updates" on your page. Don't worry, though, because founder Mark Zuckerberg and company have a new revenue scheme.
The Beacon breakup stems from a 2008 suit filed against Facebook in which users complained the site and Beacon were invading their privacy and ruining surprises, like engagements and holiday gifts. After much back-and-forth, Facebook previously agreed to let users turn off Beacon, but have now totally given up on the relationship. Instead they're announcing a new "multi-year, strategic alliance" deal with Nielsen:
Nielsen BrandLift, a release explained, is the first product created from the deal. It will use opt-in polls on Facebook's home page to gauge user sentiment around advertisements, measuring "aided awareness, ad recall, message association, brand favorability, and purchase consideration." It'll roll out in the U.S. to a number of test partners this week and to all advertisers over the next few months.
The effort will, they hope, help gauge users interests and then convince advertisers to spend more money on the site. Speaking of money, as part of the Beacon suit, Facebook has agreed to donate $9.5 million to create a privacy-advocacy group. And that group, we're sure, will keep detailed records on its members.