Did Facebook spoil your gift-giving spirit?

The social networking site is back-pedaling after angry complaints from users about their purchases being revealed. How do Canadian Facebook users feel about Facebook ads in general?

After causing outrage among users, plus consumer and privacy groups, by spilling the beans about who bought which holiday gifts, Facebook has done a rethink on its Beacon and social ads system. Now users will be required to opt in to this part of Facebook’s new social ads program, rather than automatically being enrolled if they don’t opt out. Facebook decided to switch to the opt-in model after thousands of users signed a petition by MoveOn.org to express their privacy concerns.

The California-HQ’d company bowed to users’ concerns late last week, almost a full month after introducing social ads and a host of other options designed to get advertisers more closely involved with user activities and purchasing decisions. The new thinking as we head into the holiday season: maybe it’s not such a great idea that all your friends can see what you’re buying through Facebook. At least, not without your permission.

In general, though, how do Canadians feel about the ads (flyers, banners, whatever) that they see on Facebook? In a poll of 1,000 Canadians conducted for strategy magazine by Toronto-based Delvinia Interactive’s AskingCanadians online panel, a majority of Canadians on Facebook said. . . well, not much, really.

More than three-quarters (75.3%) of Canuck Facebook users polled said that advertising is everywhere else anyway, so ads on Facebook don’t bother them either way. Slightly more than a fifth of them (21.8%) agreed with the statement ‘Facebook ads should be shot and killed. (I dislike them.)’ And 2.9% of Facebook users identified with the statement: ‘It makes me feel like my shampoo is talking to me, and I like that. (I like Facebook ads).’

Click here for MiC‘s Nov. 7 story about Facebook’s social ads launch.