Alex Beutel's Blog

Facebook Beacon NOT Dead?

June 27th, 2008 · No Comments

So it is 10:51 on June 26th and of course I am waiting around to go see Wanted at midnight.  Being the responsible consumer I am, I purchased 3 tickets for the showing 2 hours ago so as to make sure my friends and I had tickets before taking a single REM-cycle nap so I do not die getting up for 8 AM work tomorrow.  And, like the trusty computer nerd I am, as I fell out of bed and stumbled to my computer in the dark, I refreshed my Facebook home page to see a popup from Fandango asking if I wanted to display that I bought tickets for Wanted.  And, like a rational, typical American consumer that thinks after he acts and then realizes what he has done, I said sure, tell the world that I bought tickets to Wanted – hell it’s going to be an awesome movie, and then I realized DAMN I forgot to even take a screenshot or click on the “Preferences” link.  And now I sit here I am wondering, what in the world was that?  As far as I know Facebook Beacon has been dead for nearly a year and a quick search on Google for Facebook and Fandango only pulled up articles from November of last year.

Unlike most of the posts from last November, I am not enraged at some sort of loss of privacy, not even annoyed that is on my Facebook Mini-Feed; it’s kind of cool actually in light of the new commenting features.  However, I am still at a loss of how Fandango was able to do this.  As far as I’ve seen in the standard Facebook API, to at all interact with Facebook at least requires the user’s approval of the application or website before the data is sent.   Also, Facebook Connect is not out yet (unless that was Beta testing).  And, although Facebook Beacon can still be found on the developer’s website, there is no way to use it other than send Facebook an e-mail and hope for a response (which I did a few months ago to no avail).  So, I am still a bit at a loss as to how Fandango has this privileged access into Facebook and more importantly – when can everyone else use it?

On a side note since I am posting this a day late – Wanted was awesome.

Tags: Programming · Web Development

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