I’ve been watching the ads cycle through my Facebook pages, wondering just how they are thinking about me as a consumer.
I come away thinking: Duh.
A basic premise for Facebook is that every bit of real estate on the page is valuable. Facebook is my social operating system on the web, and in order to make my experience optimal, every facet of the page they serve up to me should improve my social experience. That’s what keeps me coming back and relying on the service.
Advertising can be a valuable type of content experience if it is relevant and useful to me.
The advertising that Facebook is serving up, which is driving their $500 million of reported revenue this year, isn’t adding to my experience.
Two types of ads appear over and over: promotions for Facebook games and ads from online marketers like LowerMyBills.com and University of Phoenix, who pay low cost-per-click and low cost-per-acquisition rates.
The experience could be so much better. I’m a heavy Facebook user: I post a lot of content and comment on a lot of different posts. Follow my content and you know that I like music, literature; I spend a lot of time with my family; I have young kids; I travel a lot for business; I’m social; I live in Connecticut.
You should be able to drive a lot of very targeted advertising to my page. That would be content I’d look at as valuable, and as additive to my social experience.
That advertising experience isn’t an intrusion on my privacy, as long as I feel secure that I can filter out ads I don’t want and that the information that is being used to target me doesn’t leave Facebook’s control.
Until that kind of valuable advertising content shows up, I’m ignoring part of the right sidebar. That’s a flaw in my social operating system, and a problem that Facebook has to solve.