Friday, November 09, 2007

On Facebook, Advertising and Digital Clutter

If you believe the hype (and I don't) the world changed on November 6th.
Mark Zucherberg founder of Facebook made the announcement that had been expected for a long long time.

Facebook is moving into advertising.
He said
“Once every hundred years media changes. the last hundred years have been defined by the mass media. The way to advertise was to get into the mass media and push out your content. That was the last hundred years. In the next hundred years information won’t be just pushed out to people, it will be shared among the millions of connections people have. Advertising will change. You will need to get into these connections."
and I still don't get it.

Facebook Ads will have three components.

Social Ads ie personalised ads informed by member profile data,
(I guess its time to play with my profile)

Beacon (Ads) which will allow members of Facebook to announce to their friends that they are fans of a particular brand via their feeds.
(Now we shall discover who our real friends are!)

Insight which will provide advertisers with marketing data from within Facebook, ie social demographic information.

Erick Schonfeld of TechCrunch was there, live blogging the event.
Here are his immediate thoughts
"This could be huge if done right, but it could also backfire badly for Facebook. If I start to think that my friends are advertising to me, I may no longer trust them (and, in fact, try to avoid them . .. by not logging into Facebook anymore). So the the trick is to make these appear to be genuine recommendations, and not ads. I am not sure how many people will be fooled by this, though. It risks turning something useful—the feed of my friends’ activities—into something spammy."
How true is that?

Much as I like my Facebook friends, I'm honestly not sure that they would consider their feeds useful. I don't.
I certainly don't want to start receiving advertising recommendations from them. I have enough digital clutter already. It's bad enough that I know when my friends are cooking, thinking or breathing.

Everyone, yes everyone should visit Nicholas Carr and read his thoughts on the "Social Graft"

I guess that anyone who still believed that Facebook had a future as a PLE, a VLE or as the next platform might be having second thoughts.

I hope so.


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