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Facebook’s Instant Messenger Push: Tempest in a Teapot?

Much angst is being felt by netizens throughout the world about the latest move by Facebook to “force” those who wish to chat with each other through the free service to download and use an app when sending instant messages on a smartphone.  Yes, it’s true that doing so requires you to both download the Facebook Instant Messenger app, and also give permission for the app to search your contacts, scour your address book for phone numbers, and even use your phone (if you want to make digital calls though Facebook itself.)

Is it a massive invasion of privacy?  That depends on your point of view.  Facebook’s ham-handed requirements matched with Android’s bad implementation of permissions makes this seem like an inquisition to some users.  Apple’s phones are selective and only ask permission when you actually need to use a feature.

But if giving permission to Facebook to be part of your digital life is causing you heartburn, consider the advice of Indianapolis digital marketing expert Michael Reynolds who suggests just using the Internet itself to access Facebook instead of the App.

The New York Times Bits blog reported on the dust-up this week, with some calming words about what is going on here – perhaps the perspective that Facebook itself should have delivered.  At the end of the day, there have been so many issues with Facebook’s handling of changes mixed with millions of consumers who don’t like change – and the end result always causes fireworks.

But the fact is, some people PREFER to be contacted on an Instant Messaging platform instead of by phone, email, text message, or smoke signals.  Deloitte consulting says the average person sends seven text messages and 46 instant messages EVERY DAY (at least in the U.K., and the trends are likely similar to the U.S.A.)

So should you worry about the latest Facebook move as an invasion of privacy?  Probably not.  You could always insist that all communication go by post, or landline.  If you can find either.

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The post Facebook’s Instant Messenger Push: Tempest in a Teapot? appeared first on Arland Communications.

About the Author
Dave Arland is a 22-year veteran of the consumer electronics industry, working now to promote digital satellite services and broadcast mobile TV. He played a key role in the introduction of HDTV, mp3 audio, and electronic books. He runs Arland Communications, a full-service Public Relations & Communications agency from offices in Carmel, Indiana.

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