Beacon was a Facebook advertising system which sent data from external websites to Facebook for the purpose of allowing users to share certain “activities” with their friends, from an affiliated “partner” website. Beacon was rolled out as an “opt-in by default” service, meaning that users were forced to individually opt-out of the service.
Initially there were 44 partner websites that participated in Beacon, including eBay, Fandango, TripAdvisor, Zappos, Blockbuster, Overstock.com, and Sony, among others. When a Facebook user visited one of these partner websites and participated in certain activities, such as purchasing items or services, their activity was transmitted back to the user’s Facebook page and included in their “news feed.”
- Louise Story and Brad Stone, Facebook Retreats on Online Tracking November 30, 2007.
- Louise Story The Evolution of Facebook’s Beacon November 29, 2007.
- Pete Cashmore, RIP Facebook Beacon September 19, 2009.