The Slippery Slope of Facebook Phonebook

Did you know that you have a Facebook Phonebook in your personal profile? Before you decide that you’ve hit the marketing jackpot, beware. Most of those people don’t know they are in your Facebook Phonebook, nor have they given you permission to start marketing to them on their phones just because you have their number now.

First off, let me show you where the Facebook Phonebook is.

Log into Facebook.

Click on Account in upper right of your screen.

Click on Edit Friends.

Click on Contacts (there’s a phone icon next to it). Yours will look similar to this…

Not everyone you friended will have phone numbers listed. This isn’t everyone who you have put into your phone either. Yet you’ll see on the right that Facebook says you imported the numbers from your phone. What’s more accurate is that when you synched Facebook with your phone, other people who also synched Facebook with their phone and who are also your friends, were then added to your Facebook Phonebook.

Facebook claims that this is to improve the quality of Friend Suggestions. Really, Facebook? Are you sure? I thought my friends suggested friends.

This list of contact numbers represents those people who have either entered their phone numbers into the mobile section of their profile, or they have opted to sync this feature, probably unknowingly, thereby giving their digits to their “friends” on Facebook.

I think this would have been safer back when that’s really who we friended — friends and family. However, now we friend potential clients, partners, employees, colleagues, etc. So this is where the slippery slope part comes in. Will your so-called friends abuse the privilege and start sending you mobile messages through Facebook? My guess is that some will try, but you still retain the power over your account, your phone and who your friends are.

You have a couple of options.

You can remove the numbers from your contacts list. This can be done by clicking on “this page” link, which can be seen in the picture above in the right-hand column of your Facebook Phonebook Contacts page.

When you click “this page” you will be sent here:

Remove Facebook Mobile ContactsRemember that this does nothing to protect your number, though. At this point you’re really just doing your “friends” a favor by removing their number. You could always ask for permission from them, though, to send them messages to their mobile through Facebook.

If you want to remove your number you need to:

Click on Account in upper right of Facebook profile.

Then click on Account Settings.

Then Click on Mobile in the left-hand menu. You’ll see something similar to this:

Click Remove to no longer sync or receive Facebook info to your mobile.

I hope this helps you decide what decision to make. What will you do? Let me know in the comments.

Tags: Facebook Contacts, Facebook Mobile, Facebook Phonebook

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 11th, 2011 at 7:03 pm and is filed under Advice, Facebook, marketing, social media, Social Networks, Start-up/Entrepreneur, technology, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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