Forrester Discusses the Amazon-Facebook Connection

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-07-30 Print this article Print


Importantly, users can disconnect from the shopping recommendation service with a single click.

Just like that, Amazon and Facebook have the tools for a powerful social recommendation engine, combining Amazon's and Facebook's hundreds of millions of users with proper respect for user privacy.

Interestingly, neither Amazon nor Facebook trotted out press releases or blog posts to announce the integration, preferring to fly under the radar with it. Facebook declined to comment on the deal, and Amazon's response was vague:

"We are continually working on behalf of our customers to improve the personalized recommendations experience on Amazon," Gianna Puerini, vice president of Amazon Worldwide Design and Community, told eWEEK in a statement.

Forrester Research analyst Augie Ray called the Amazon-Facebook tie "measured." He noted that while it isn't a go-slow approach, it's not a wide open collaboration between the Amazon and Facebook platforms.

"Amazon is not sharing any purchase or account information with Facebook, for example, Ray says. "It could be argued it might benefit consumers if Amazon did so, since it would provide a more personalized experience on Facebook, but given some of Facebook's privacy issues, it seems Amazon wants to test the waters before sharing too much.

"This is a very smart approach because Amazon won't get entangled with any consumer worry about where their purchase data may end up," he adds.

After 15 years in business, Amazon has learned a thing or two about keeping consumers comfortable with its Web service.

Ray also likes that Amazon has made the benefits of connecting to Facebook crystal clear for consumers.

"So many media companies and brands offering a connection with Facebook leave it to consumers to assume the benefits," Ray explains. "Those benefits are easy to grasp, and they don't seem to raise the privacy concerns that have sometimes been associated with Facebook connections."

These are exciting times for social shopping. The Amazon-Facebook connection comes a couple weeks after Twitter launched its @earlybird promotions account to offer Twitter users discount deals from Disney, JetBlue and other partners.


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