What Is Facebook’s Instant Personalization Feature?


I had heard a few things about this new feature that Facebook is currently beta testing, and that many people are a bit up in arms about.  It’s called Instant Personalization.  It is only rolled out to a few sites so far, such as Pandora.  If you are currently “logged in” to your Facebook page and then navigate to pandora.com you will see a new little pop down that says “Hi ___, Pandora is using Facebook to personalize your experience. Learn More No Thanks.  You can click on “No Thanks” and it will turn off the feature, but for that site only.  It does not turn it off for all sites that have this feature installed. 

So what is the feature really anyway?  Say you are on yelp.com and you “like” a restaurant from the site.  Then your friend visits yelp.com.  Your friend can see that you “liked” Old Spaghetti Factory.  Also if you are a Facebook Fan of (which is now just called “liking”) Weezer, then when you go to Pandora’s website it will start playing songs by Weezer. 

The thought behind this is that they just want to make the web a more personal place for you, where you can share the things you like with your friends, also to help make websites more about you.  It’s just like what Amazon does when you visit.  They show you the things you’ve recently looked at or purchased, and recommend other items based on that information.  So while the information it’s sharing isn’t a super big deal, you still may want to permanently opt out of it. 

To opt out go into your Facebook account and go to Account at the top right, and then Privacy Settings.  Click on Applications and Websites, and then click Edit next to the last item on the list called “Instant Personalization Pilot Program”.  Simply uncheck the box and you are good to go.


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