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Offline Identity

On the surface, Facebook adding these little business cards are not a big deal (other than the scale of any initiative the company takes on). But I do think there’s something more interesting here: This is another step in Facebook owning your identity in the physical world. They’ve already claimed you in the digital world and pretty much locked things up, but the physical world is still a hodgepodge of identities split between governments, banks and employers. There’s never really been a global holder of identity data before (to my knowledge) and I’m not sure I yet understand what the implications are, but I assume it’s something Facebook is thinking a lot about.

January 5, 2012 // This post is about: , ,

Comments

  • Rob Day says:

    Hi Noah,

    Any thoughts on the true usefulness of this? I think the cards look nice, the software is easy etc etc. However, I still have a mental segmenting process regarding social networks. Each one that I participate in has a different purpose and different approach. My facebook profile is hardly the network I would direct people to from a business card.

    Perhaps people building Facebook pages going forward will keep things like this in mind and take a different approach. But I was attending one of the first 10 universities that Facebook went to and definitely have an ingrained perspective on the site.

    Thoughts?

  • Noah Brier says:

    Yeah, I don’t think this has much use … Not the cards at least.

    Things get a lot more interesting when the identity documents start to get more formal though. Maybe a Facebook bank?

  • Dani says:

    Hi Noah,

    My flatmate recently ordered these Facebook cards and when she told me about it, I was hesitant. I couldn’t put my finger on why I had this feeling but I feel like you have hit on it perfectly.

    Facebook is strategic in everything they do. This wasn’t a holiday gift. What it could eventually mean? We’ll find out!

    Dani // @danidotnoah

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