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Update: Facebook postpones sharing of phone numbers and addresses

18 January 2011 BY

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Yesterday I wrote about a new ‘feature’ in Facebook which meant that third party developers would now be able to easily pick up phone numbers and addresses from Facebook. To be honest, I wasn’t the only one writing about it.

Just shortly after their announcement on the subject last Friday Facebook now pulls back. The feature will be changed and until then the feature is “on hold”. It looks like Facebook listened to the criticism.

It was Douglas Purdy, director of developer relations, who posted on the Facebook blog:

“Over the weekend, we got some useful feedback that we could make people more clearly aware of when they are granting access to this data. We agree, and we are making changes to help ensure you only share this information when you intend to do so. We’ll be working to launch these updates as soon as possible, and will be temporarily disabling this feature until those changes are ready. We look forward to re-enabling this improved feature in the next few weeks.”

Purdy has been appointed to improve Facebook’s relationship with the community. And it was that community who opposed to the feature. Even though it can be handy, the main reason for criticism was the way it was communicated and how aware people were of the issue. That is what Facebook seems to be doing now. Though it is funny that he addresses the criticism as “feedback” :).

It is a good thing that they responded to what has been written around the web, but maybe next time they can think of it themselves? To be continued without a doubt…


Bas van den Beld is a speaker, trainer and online marketing strategist. Bas is the founder of -- You can hire Bas to speak, train or consult.
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