Facebook has revealed details of how it’s going to spam the heck out of its users through targeted ads. Now we know why they don’t want any Donald Duck or Darth Vadar persons registering on the site. If you read the TechCrunch report, you might be tempted to think Mark Zuckerberg, CEOs FaceBook has announced the Second Coming. I”m sure the 40 partners he’s got on board think so. He hasn’t.
These are the bits that have me rolling around laughing:
3:03: Insights. Aggregates profile data. â€œWe look at the people your ads are reaching and break it down by age, gender, interests, and a whole lot more we are adding soon.â€ Says none of this will be personally identifiable. â€œWe will be able to track how much people are talking about your brand in public forums across facebook. As you run ads on Facebook you will be able to see the exact mind share you are getting.â€
2:57 PM: â€œSocial Actions + Content = Social Ads.â€ They spread your message virally through the social graph. these ads will appear both in peopleâ€™s feeds and as a personalized banner ad.
Mark’s right that some brands do get talked about in Facebook. But not many. And often the groups are spread around. Have you seen how many there are for Deloitte, KPMG etc?
â€œLetâ€™s talk about targeting. With Facebook you will be able to select exactly the audience you want to reach, and we will only show your ads to them. We know exactly what gender someone is, what activities they are interested in. their location, country, city or town, interests, gender,â€ work history, political views [Like what theyâ€™ve already done with Facebook Flyers].
Same as above except with a twist. Not everyone puts their work history into Facebook. If they’re doing that they usually work with LinkedIn. As for politics…I can’t wait to see what the Monster Raving Loony Party makes of that.
Charlene Li of Forrester ran a wee experiment on Facebook Flyers the other week. At the time, she was impressed. But the clickthrough rate was no better than any other form of advertising. Ergo, Facebook can say what it likes about the information it is storing but the reality is the same as most forms of advertising: 98% failure rate.
But hey – give the lad his due. He got Microsoft to part with $240 million and he’s invented stupid new terms like ‘social graph’ and ‘social actions,’ he’s in New York, the bullshit advertising capital of the world. What else would you expect?
Of one thing you can be sure, Facebook is watching YOU. Of another – I’m not a fan of advertising. Or as Larry Dignan asks: Coca-Cola as a friend? Gimme a frickin’ break.
Illo courtesy of Larry at ZDNet.
UPDATE2: It didn’t take long. Dan McWeeney:
Removed all relevant/useful information from Facebook. Time for random ass ads!
UPDATE 3: Dan Farber makes an excellent comparison between Fascebook and Google’s OpenSocial efforts.