Facebook Spot Information is becoming popular in Japan after Facebook had started Check-in Coupon (Check-in Deals) in Japan.
The problem arouse when Recruit[E], Japan’s largest coupon business player, registered spot information of restaurants on behalf of restaurant owners without enough notification.
Hitoshi Nakamura(twitter id: hitoshi[J]) , one of the most famous restaurant owner who has a deep knowledge on social marketing, reported on his blog that Recruit registered spot information of his restaurant without getting agreement from him.
He noticed this when his customer requested to use a deal posted by Recruit on Facebook spot information.
( This photo was uploaded by Hitoshi.)
Recruit is operating a service known as Hot Pepper[J], a free paper media distributed in town like “am New York” [En] or “metro [En]” but only includes coupons of restaurants and beauty salons instead of articles. There is also an web site to search restaurants and coupons on Hot Pepper. Shop owners pay fixed fee per month to get their coupons printed on this media.
With those data of restaurants and coupons, Recruit, instead of restaurant owners, started registering spot information with coupon. Recruit sent this announcement to 40,000 restaurants and registered information of restaurants except those replied to not register. That means when there was no response, Recruit also registered shop information, took an opt-out process.
As a result, duplicated shop information had registered for some restaurants already have their shop information on Facebook. Recruit says, they checked restaurant names to prevent to register another shop information for those who already registered them on Facebook. But if there is a slight change on the name of restaurants, spell, big letter or small letter, with or without hyphen , etc., spot information had registered in additional to the original one.
This had caused troubles. Restaurant owners with original spot information could not publish Check-in coupon since Recruit had already published coupons for another spot information with the name of same restaurant, and Facebook judged it as a break of service agreement. So Recruit jacked the spot information and the right to publish coupon.
Recruit de-registered shop information for those requested to do so but not only restaurants, Recruit also had registered spot information of hotels on their hotel reservation site, Jalan[J].
This case implies that anyone can register shop information to get more exposure on Facebook Check-in. Yelp, Expedia, or any other player can do similar thing. Although they can not connect directly to their services at least you can get more awareness for your service.
So how Facebook will respond?
Is this going to be another battle field to get a better position on the list of web page like we do for Google search results?