My (Facebook) Kingdom for a Whopper

 

Great Facebook marketing campaigns are rare.  And a big brand responsible for a quality social media effort is even rarer.

Last week, Burger King rolled out their Whopper Sacrifice application on Facebook. The user simply had to get rid of ten friends via the application and they’d receive a free Whopper. Each friend you chose had their profile picture burnt in front of your very eyes before they were notified that they’d been part of a flame grilled sacrifice in your quest for a 1$ Whopper.

Genius.

Never have I taken such pleasure in obtaining something off Burger King’s dollar menu.

And what a shame it is others won’t derive similar pleasure as Facebook has deemed the application a privacy issues concern and shut it down. Facebook’s statement (via TechCrunch) goes as follows:

We encourage creativity from developers and brands using Facebook Platform, but we also must ensure that applications follow users’ expectations of privacy. This application facilitated activity that ran counter to user privacy by notifying people when a user removes a friend. We have reached out to the developer with suggested solutions. In the meantime, we are taking the necessary steps to assure the trust users have established on Facebook is maintained.

As TechCrunch points out:

All that happened is the user being dissed got a message telling them, which helps the application spread virally. Without that feature the app is far less powerful. There is no real privacy issue here, just a policy decision by Facebook that people shouldn’t be notified when you remove them as a friend.

Now I couldn’t give a tinker’s cuss about the whys and wherefores as to why the app got pulled. The bottom line is that Burger King comes out of it smelling even rosier.

What I’m more interested in is the power of one’s online network on places such as Facebook and Twitter.

Let’s not pretend that every single last friend or contact we’ve ever made is the most valuable of carrots. If you have anything over 50-100 friends on Facebook then I think we’re outside the realms of them all being BFFs.

What the Whopper Sacrifice application shows us is the worthlessness of some aspects of your network. It may not matter to some, but there are those who regard number of followers/friends/subscribers as a useful metric. It isn’t.

In fact, Derrick and myself where just talking the other day about how best to whittle our friends and followers down and get more usefulness out of both Twitter and Facebook by doing a spot of pruning. (Obviously, Derrick is younger, better looking, and has infinitely more pruning to do than I, but we all have to cut the wheat from the chaff every now and again.)

We’re talking about quality tidbits and snippets as opposed to blathering noise. And developing relationships rather than wowsering your way to your three-thousandth twitter follower.

And Burger King struck at the heart of this pruning conundrum by sacrificing your waifs and strays at approximately 10 cents a friendship.

Apparently, my Whopper voucher will be with me fairly soon. Maybe I’ll auction it off on eBay.

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