When I told you about The Facebook Timeline Version and its impact on privacy last week I was pretty laid back about it. Yes, Facebook is setting us all up to disclose even more information about ourselves than we had already been giving away, but at the same time I find Facebook Timeline to be friendly enough to make that feel less creepy than Facebook felt to me before Timeline View came along.

Turns out there’s even more going on there than we knew.

Facebook has launched a new social engagement metric. Tentatively named “People Talking About”, it makes the LIKE button look practically innocent.

And Like isn’t innocuous at all; every time you’ve “liked” something on Facebook you’ve been broadcasting that statement, and Timeline view makes Like into what amounts to permission to both sell you stuff and tell your friends what you buy.

“People Talking About” is a new measurement that literally tracks exactly that. Post a picture to your Facebook Timeline, watch your friends comment and like, and you can practically feel your People Talking About counts rising.

I’m not scared. I’m not going to scale back on my recent promise to start using Facebook more.

But I sure am concerned.

It was already hard to tell if a review on the Internet was a fake, and I’ve told you before about how Google Gives Bad Reviews the Same Credit it Gives Good Ones for SEO Purposes. Facebook sees this the same way. It doesn’t matter what people say about you; according to this report at Mashable a bad mention on People Talking About carries the same weight as a good one.

Get out there. Start commenting. And when you’re ready to manage the way you appear on Social Networks, Reach Me Here. This is a business change you can’t ignore.

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