Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Breaking News: Facebook is focused on Advertisers

Ok, so maybe between all the ads and promoted material in our news feed on Facebook this isn't breaking news. This does, however, raise an interesting question: at what point do ads become white noise?

Facebook's claim that an ad only counts when we see it sure sounds great, but I am pretty sure most of us don't consciously notice most of the ads. There is research that shows that even unconscious viewership of ads helps promote brand awareness but no one has figured out how to really measure the ROI of that.

Also with the now explicit statement of focus on advertisements what happens to the users? Is it so engrained in our daily life that innovation to make Facebook more important to us no longer matters? I understand that Facebook is now a public company and it must address it's bottom line first, but does that mean we no longer matter? I am not sure I can handle more advertisements in my feed and less information that I care about... like if that cute girl in the office is single or not...

Google has managed to stay focused on the user experience and keep us in mind while trying to milk every single penny from advertisers. I love chrome, gmail, google maps, google flights, and everything else because it is seamless and efficient experience across all tools. And the best part is that google keeps improving it, the new google docs layout is great.

On the other hand, I find myself visiting Facebook less frequently and don't really use any other tools in its ecosystem. I might be an exception though, since the company is making tons of money. It will be interesting to see how far Facebook can push its focus on ads before it realizes it needs to focus on us too.

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