Tuesday, November 20, 2007

News flash: I bought shoes!

Last night I was stunned to find out that a shoe purchase I made on Zappos.com turned into a newsfeed item in my Facebook profile.

I discovered this by looking at my profile and my first thought was, "Holy shiitake! How did that get there?" I was horrified and my knee-jerk reaction was to delete it from my mini-feed so that no one could see it when they viewed my profile. But it was too late for that secret. I IM'd with my friend Lauren about my discovery and she said something like, "Oh yeah. I saw that. They're cute." So you mean everyone of my friends knows about my shoe purchase?! Sure enough, this was in every friend's feed:

Anybody who can view my profile (which only people I've granted access to can do) could click on through to look at a picture of the shoes I bought. Thankfully my shoe size wasn't a part of the feed. At least something was considered sacred.

I can't figure out how my shoe purchase found its way into Facebook. I may have had Facebook open in one tab while making the purchase on Zappos.com in another tab, but that's too simple of an explanation. To borrow the term Dave Coustan used when I Twittered about this: creepy. At this point, I have more questions than answers:

  1. What does Zappos or Facebook think there is to gain by sharing my purchase with the masses?
  2. What does that icon to the left of my name mean? (I can't click on it anymore since I deleted it from my feed.)
  3. How the heck did it get there?

I'm not ashamed of my shoe purchase. It just isn't something I consider newsworthy. I've never bought anything from Zappos, but have read great things about them and I thought this would be a good opportunity to give them a try. I'll be curious as to what kind of feedback I get from either group.

In the meantime, I think my shoes are supposed to arrive today. Then what? Do I upload a photo of them and create a Facebook album to show them off?

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jrhoffman said...

ok, well as amazed were you to have your zappos shoe purpose on you facebook profile, i am just as amazed and clueless that i didn't you had a blog and that this is my first ever blog response to someone! but i think you've experienced the entry of word of mouth marketing. zappos wants all your friends to see what you bought so they either 1. go oh cool, i want those too or 2. realize oh, i need to buy some shoes too or 3. never heard of zappos and now they have - but either way, zappos has exposed its brand. rather than tell the world offline of your purchase that you may have done anyone, facebook has graciously helped you with that step and zappos wins free marketing in the process. and might i add, great shoe site!

Sandi K. Solow said...

Thanks! But what about my permission to share this information? I think that's a vital component of word of mouth marketing. All of your points are valid, but I'd like to have had the opportunity to opt-out of that entry.

Grayson: Atlanta, GA said...

So much for the days of the "plain brown wrapper."

Anonymous said...

I think what you've found is that you're an unwitting user/victim of facebook's new "Beacon" feature.

i did the same exact thing - but it didn't show up- because i use a different email address for shopping sites that i don't use anywehre else, like facebook. i think that's how they are connecting the activity.

Here's a link to all to a press release that lists how it works, and which sites participate.


in facebook's defense, theARE making the opt-out notices a little more clear for this...