Interesting article from Mashable: Code: http://mashable.com/2008/12/22/black-hat-facebook-marketing/ Fact: Lots of Facebook friends means a lot of eyes and ears for your message. Once this became obvious, shady techniques were developed to amass a lot of Facebook friends or to get users to join a group. The questions are: how annoying this really is, could it become the next spam, and should Facebook do anything about it? Squaredpeg does a lengthy analysis of something we could call Facebook squatting: someone is setting up Facebook groups for incoming students of 2013 on various universities across the USA. The idea, of course, is to get real students to join these groups, which means whoever owns the groups can send them messages and updates. A lot of Facebook users actually do pay attention to these, which makes it a great marketing vehicle. I?ll point out to another - and even more annoying - black hat Facebook marketing technique. An often sought Facebook feature is the ability to see who is looking at your profile. It will probably never be introduced for privacy reasons, but there?s a group that claims you?ll be able to see this info once you join. This, of course, is a lie. This group is fake; the idea is to get people to join, forget about it, and then later the owner can (and probably will) spam users with messages. However, unsuspecting users who don?t know or don?t care about the inner workings of Facebook do not understand that what this group claims to do is impossible, and many of them join, probably thinking ?ah, what the hell, it can?t hurt.? What?s surprising is the scope and organization of this scam. There are literally hundreds of such groups, divided into individual countries. Each group has an admin with a carefully chosen name that fits the individual country. Each group has hundreds or even thousands of members. Whoever started this scam probably has tens of thousands of users ready to be spammed. From the perspective of the individual users it?s not that bad - you can simply leave the group if it starts annoying you. But the fact that these groups claim to do something that?s impossible makes their existence dubious at the very least. What can Facebook do about it? If someone chooses to create a group for upcoming students, not much. After all, no one can claim rights to such a group. However, if the user behind it uses fake credentials, and someone points it out to Facebook, under Facebook?s rules the user can be banned and the group can be dismantled. If a group claims that whoever joins will be able to log into other people?s profiles (or any similar nonsense), Facebook can probably ban them on common sense grounds. However, I can easily imagine situations where it?ll be hard to decide whether the group is legitimate or just a vehicle for spam. ######################## So who here on BHW is facebook marketing? And is it working for you? No need to share your method, just some general comments would be appreciated.