Facebook ‘Social Ads’

November 7, 2007

Facebook announced a new advertising program, which you can read about in the New York Times story  Facebook Is Marketing Your Brand Preferences (With Your Permission). Also, there is a quick question-and-answer style article from the Associated Press, and another story posted by Businessweek that gives more details about the announcement. On a side note, the latter article confirms something I wrote about earlier, namely the horrible click-through rates of the larger social networking sites. Overall, this brings up two interesting points:

First, I am glad to see a somewhat creative go at advertising. Because many Web 2.0 sites are holding out for the ad-generated revenue savior, but are realizing marketers are unhappy with campaign performance, this is a chance to test something relatively new out, a chance to test whether or not thinking outside the box can garner attention and interaction.

Additionally, one of the larger arguments present throughout these stories is a concern about the lack of privacy the new ad campaign seems to offer. However, as part of the Internet crowd, I take little issue with this; a New York Magazine article, Say Everything, did an incredible job expressing my feelings towards the shifting concept of ‘privacy’ among younger Americans, particularly those active online. On the more personal side, I have my own private blog, but as (I believe) a fairly-educated Internet user, I take many measures to separate out my ‘online identities’ so as to prevent any privacy issues. Also (just in case), I stalk back: I posted html code on my private blog to log all page-views and geographic areas through a great (free) service I researched. Thus, I think that as long as the Internet user who posts private things online or participates in social networking sites are aware of how their information will be used, it should not be an issue.

Now, let’s cross our fingers and see where Facebook’s ‘Social Ads’ take us…


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