How to Disable Other Websites from Accessing Your Facebook Profile (aka Instant Personalization)

Facebook is committed to enhancing the social experience online, which is currently helping many local businesses. Therefore, they have teamed up with partner websites like Pandora, Yelp and Microsoft Docs to share what you are doing on those websites with your friends on Facebook. They call this "Instant Personalization". When Facebook rolled this out, they automatically included your account to be accepting of this, so have set your account to an "opt-in" mode.

Facebook explains that in order to share this information, you would need to click on a Like button on the partner website. However, as pointed out by Mashable, the tool is on by default, so if you don't click a "No Thanks" button, the information you transmitted over that partner site will be shared. 

If you want to opt out of or disable Instant Personalization, here's how:

In Facebook, go to Account (top right of your screen)

Click on Privacy Settings.

Click on Applications and Websites

Click on Instant Personalization, then click on Edit Settings box to the right of it.

Uncheck the "Allow" box you'll see on the next screen (pictured below).

Facebook Instant Personalization privacy settings

Facebook points out that if your friends don't do this, they will be sharing information about you. In order to block and disable this, you must block the application of that website on Facebook.

The link will be on the application's business page on Facebook, and will look like this:

Block Application on Facebook for Instant Personalization

You will get this message: "You can prevent Yelp from getting any info about you. This will also prevent you from seeing Yelp if other people have it installed."

Click for Yelp's application

Click for Pandora's application

The ability to share goings-on on Facebook is fun, and it has helped several businesses get the word out. However, the decision is yours on how public you would like to be, so use this article as a tool should you decide to opt-out.

Katy Perry's "Pregnancy Tweets" Show Power of Social Media

Today I was reading one of my favorite online outlets, Jezebel, and came across an article about singer Katy Perry, and the media and pop-culture loving demographic of the population going nuts over her Tweets lately, tweets that supposedly hinted at a possible pregnancy.  (Back story: @KatyPerry recently got engaged to actor/comedian Russel Brand which she recently tweeted about in a cryptic message as well.  As with many celebrities, much of her life has been tweeted lately and as of this posting her following was at 1,618,694).

Sure the story is on the surface about a celebrity and our country's frenzied need to know everything about famous people all the time (and their often feeding it to us), but to me it's also another great example of how Twitter allows you to connect with and grow your customer/ambassador/database and your brand's reach more than ever.

As Jezebel's blogger explains, "the peculiar world of Twitter, and the direct contact people feel they get with celebrities, will only lead people to keep reading between the lines in order to solve a mystery that may only exist in their minds."  This is one effect of Twitter that is at times negative....but you can use this same power of Twitter and instant and intimate way the audience connects with your brand to propel it to new media opportunities, sales, visibility and get your message to spread virally if done correctly!

A brand's longevity is largely due to a loyal customer base and true brand ambassadors - especially during a recession when every sale counts more than ever.  Knowing that, be sure you create a passionate base of followers on Twitter who really care about what you say - they probably won't tweet about a possible pregnancy but they may instead give your brand exponential reach!

Find out more about what Jezebel had to say about Katy Perry's tweets HERE

3 Easy Peasy Free Ways to Strongly Promote Links

I am all about the personal user experience. That's why I'm the Chief Experience Officer CEO in these Tin Shingle parts. In my guidance in how to effectively use social media, rarely will you hear me advocate for setting up automated things. Rarely. And if you do, it's because it's super special.

Trademark Issues for Facebook Business (fan) Pages, and the Custom URL

More on the Facebook land grab for URLs, where you can make your name part of your link to your Facebook profile page, like www.facebook.com/katiehellm.uth:

If you have a business page, aka a fan or supporter page, you may claim a URL now if your page had over 1,000 fans by May 31, 2009. If it did not, you will need to wait until June 28, which is when Facebook will allow pages with smaller amounts of fans to protect their names. This is most likely an effort to prevent squatters from squatting on just any name, but even with these restrictions, there will probably be several issues we haven't imagined yet. Our lawyer, Quinn Heraty of Heraty Law had this insight on the matter:

"I think this is a pro-active effort by Facebook to avoid the mess that Twitter found itself in: that of impostor Twitterers, trademark infringers, and your run-of-the-mill squatters. Twitter has been named as a party in several trademark infringement lawsuits, and I'm sure Facebook would like to avoid that."

On her Free Advice Friday's blog segments, Quinn posted a great article about trademarks. In addition to the reasons she mentions in her post about trademarks, she says: "Pro-active programs like this is another good reason to register your trademark."

Mashable.com did a great URL review and pressing of Facebook for more information on the under 1,000 restriction, and will continue to keep a good eye on it.

Facebook created some URL Page FAQs that may answer several of your questions, including: "Will generic names like "flowers" and "pizza" be available? (answer: no)" or "What should I do if someone's username infringes on my rights?"

If you have a trademark already, which would mean you have that satisfactory sealed registration certificate with a Registration # on it, you can apply to protect your brand by preventing the registration of a username. Click here to submit your trademark and registration number to Facebook. Here is what the form will look like - you would fill in the information for your trademark, as we did here:
Facebook Copyright Protection for URLs

Once you have submitted it, your request will go into a rotation and be looked into by teams at Facebook. If you think someone has infringed on your intelectual property on Facebook, you can submit a claim here. If you need a lawyer to register a trademark for you, which is a good move to prevent future Office Action letters challenging your application, we recommend Heraty Law.

We'll see what happens as June 28th gets closer, and if more restrictions will come into play based on how the personal URL grab goes, but stay tuned.


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