Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

TheFind’s Glimpse App Makes Facebook’s “Like” Button Pay Off

Maybe I’ve missed something along the way, but for all the “Liking” of stuff on Facebook, I’ve never pursued a deal offered to me based on my “Like” habits. It would seem to seem to me to be an obvious way to convert a fan into a buying customer — if you “Like” a certain retailer you’re basically asking to get get promotional messages from them, which might include coupons or something like that. Really not my thing, but whatever.

But if I “Like” something that I have to buy every so often — say, some new sneakers or a pair of jeans — and that “Like” turns into some useful information, such as price updates, that might get me (the most promotion-resistant shopper I know) a little more interested. And that’s exactly what a new feature in Glimpse, a Facebook app by TheFind, aims to do.

Apparently, consumers on Facebook have “Liked” 5.6 million products, and more than 70 percent of e-commerce sites have Facebook’s “Like” button on them. The feature is called Universal Price Alert, and it gives retailers a new channel to reach out to consumes who are already interested by sending them carefully targeted emails with discounts and deals. Mix in the possibility of the rumored “Want” button, and you see the potential.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work