Recent rumors about a Facebook deal center around Yahoo and the oh-so-affordable price tag of $1 billion. Yes, with a b. The current Facebook owners certainly stand to profit, but it might come at the cost of alienating their user base; they’re already up in arms about recent decisions to create user news feeds and open the service to anyone with an email address, as evidenced by groups like Students Against Facebook News Feed (704,000 members) and No Open Facebook (36,000 members).
The issues revolve around privacy – is an open Facebook just another MySpace? – which gets at the notion of what makes Facebook so popular in the first place (its exclusivity, i.e. the fact that it’s not just another MySpace). It betrays a certain elitism (mixing with the ‘dirty masses’), but there’s also the idea that maybe a "community of everyone" isn’t what everyone wants out of their social interaction on the Internet. Also interesting is the idea that students are taking an active interest in their privacy, which may contradict studies that have reported the contrary. In any case, it indicates that students do indeed have boundaries when it comes to privacy online.