Facebook announces advertising strategy

Facebook recently disclosed it’s plans to monetise the company’s rapidly growing user base (around 30 million active users). Less than four years old, Facebook is worth around $15 billion (given the 1.6% share Microsoft bought for $240 million).

How it works:

Users can then sign up as “fans” of that brand and engage with it just like a regular friend. When the user interacts with a brand, their activities – mashed together with paid advertisements – show up on the user’s profile page and on their friends’ “News Feed” summary. (SMH)

Facebook […] will give advertisers the ability to create their own profile pages on its system that will let users identify themselves as fans of a product. So each user’s news feed will contain items like “Bobby Smith is now a fan of Toyota Prius,” or whatever. News feeds can be linked to outside Web sites as well. So you can tell your friends about what you rented at Blockbuster or are auctioning on eBay. (IHT)

Facebook user, Emily, comments:

I just don’t want to be pestered by companies trying to sell me crap I don’t need. I get enough of that as it is without bloody facebook getting in on the act. If I want a coke, I can get one. I use Microsoft every day at work. I know who Sony is. If I want their freakin’ products, I’ll contact them. In the mean time, they can leave me alone. (Mashup)

I am currently a Facebook user but I’m getting a little bored with it. Basically, Facebook is a more complex version of Jaiku. I use flickr to share photos, my favourite websites on Stumbleupon, my favourite videos on youTube and Revver – Jaiku puts them all together into one place. I would also rather use Instant Messenger and email to communicate with people so our conversations aren’t published for all my other friends to read.

I’m not going to become ‘friends’ with a brand on Facebook, some people might want to, but I feel like choosing to share your friendship with a brand, is a conscious effort to express an identity that doesn’t really exist and is therefore very inauthentic – in the Frankfurt School sense (did I use this reference correctly?).

Summary: If you are a university student in Australia with Motorola and Tsubi as Facebook friends, than you really are a try-hard and should be engaging in more worthwhile pursuits!