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Facebook and Wal-Mart Join Forces 127

Jeremiah Cornelius writes "Wal-Mart — the retail king of Big Data analytics — will be meeting Mark Zuckerberg for two days in Bentonville, to 'deepen' their relationship with Facebook. The CEO-level strategy summit is intended to bolster the relationship between the world's No. 1 social network and the world's largest retailer. Wal-Mart has been left in the dust online by the behemoth Amazon. An alliance may be poised to challenge this dominance, particularly in light of Amazon's planned foray into same-day delivery nationwide. The companies share James Breyer, who sits on the boards of both Facebook and Wal-Mart. Adding another angle to this, Yahoo's new CEO, Marissa Mayer, was elected to Wal-Mart's board in early June, while she was still at Google. Earlier this month, Facebook and Yahoo settled a patent dispute and announced plans to form another 'strategic alliance' involving advertising and distribution. The implications for online privacy in this series of relationships are uncertain."
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Facebook and Wal-Mart Join Forces

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  • Outcome certain (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gsslay ( 807818 ) on Friday July 20, 2012 @09:48AM (#40711221)

    "The implications for online privacy in this series of relationships are uncertain."

    I think they are very certain. This will, as with every collaboration of large corporations who seek and retain your information, result in increased use of personal (and often private) information to increase the market and profits of the corporation. Any possible benefit to the customer will be inconsequential and very debatable.

    Use facebook? Expect a confusing change in privacy policy to follow, with associated double-speak explanation that demonstrates how it's all being done for your benefit, not theirs. Thereafter expect to have a relationship with Walmart on a personal level you may not be comfortable with, whether you shop there or not.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Friday July 20, 2012 @10:01AM (#40711425)

    When two or more companies that have no idea what they're doing join forces and convince themselves that, somehow together, they'll master the situation due to "synergy" or some other vague buzzword. It seemed like a lot of this happened when the first dot-com bubble burst, too.

  • Re:Outcome certain (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fallen1 ( 230220 ) on Friday July 20, 2012 @10:13AM (#40711621) Homepage

    I've been considering killing my Facebook account for a while. This just speeds up the process. I only use it to keep up with Birthdays and to network for local business opportunities. I believe I can find alternative means for those.

    Hell, I believe everyone should find an alternative to Facebook since the giant, soul-sucking monster that is Wal-mart is joining forces with them. All hail Great Cthulu!

  • by An Ominous Coward ( 13324 ) on Friday July 20, 2012 @10:24AM (#40711775)

    Wal-Mart does not want you to use their website. Online shopping allows for informed decision making: you can easily compare prices of similar goods both within their own catalog and competitor's. You can find product and manufacturer reviews, look at price and sales history, etc. All of that runs counter to Wal-Mart's methodology of preying on underinformed customers. Wal-Mart maintains a low-price reputation by a small subset of inventory. That subset is indeed cheap, but visibly so: poor materials, flimsy construction, awkward designs, etc. But their other inventory isn't priced the same way, typically it's priced higher than you find elsewhere. So people who come for the cheap item but, seeing how crappy it is, go for the "next model up" pay more than they need. People who come for and buy the cheap item but end up with other impulse buys pay more than they need. People who do all their shopping at Wal-Mart because they assume the advertised pricing on the cheap subset is reflective of store-wide prices pay more than they need. Having informed customers would be terrible for their business. Sure, with their tightly integrated supply chain management they could turn a good profit even if they acted more ethically, but Wall Street looks down on executives that grow a business organically.

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Friday July 20, 2012 @10:36AM (#40711971) Journal

    They don't do anything that other stores are not equally guilty of.

    Independently owned stores pay better and treat their employees better than walmart.

    So if I boycotted Walmart for being "evil" then I'd have to boycott all the stores, and have nowhere left to shop.

    Only because Walmart has used its size to drive independent competitors out of the market.

  • by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <mashikiNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday July 20, 2012 @12:21PM (#40713767) Homepage

    Independently owned stores pay better and treat their employees better than walmart.

    Crock of shit. Let me repeat that, crock of lying shit. First, I've worked at a walmart about 9 years ago. One of the first to open in Southern Ontario after they bought out Woolco I was treated better, and paid nearly $6/hr more than min. wage. Second, the quality of the management vastly improved. Especially after the corporate office went through and cleaned house. This has apparently held true, as a buddy of mine is working at the same store(which is now a super centre) and still paying $6/hr more than min. wage.

    His other job, well he works at a gas station. He makes around $1/hr over min. wage. His employer like many others up here treats him like dirt, there's no other work options available either, as no one else is hiring. The biggest whiners seem to be the angsty teenagers who don't show up for their shifts, and then wonder why they don't get any hours. Well..duh, they're not reliable.

    Only because Walmart has used its size to drive independent competitors out of the market.

    I keep hearing that, but funny enough independent competitors around here in this city of ~40k seem to be doing just fine. Even the small businesses, in fact if anything, they seem to be doing more business now than they did 10 years ago. As the walmart has brought more business in from outlying areas. Other cities seem to be "suffering" the same fate up here, they're busier now than before. One can only hope Target does the same thing.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.