Thursday, 21 August 2008

Monetizing Facebook

Facebook has had an ongoing problem of monetizing their product. They have been pushing their integrated products, which have proved successful ocassionally, they have also outsources the standard display inventory to MSN. Not only that, but they have also outsourced their Social-aps display inventory to Ad - Knowledge. Whats left for Facebook ? Will they finally create a financially rewarding / affective ad solution?

Tim Kendall, Facebook’s director of monetization, outlines some of the new social ad schemes Facebook will be rolling out. Currently, Facebook users are shown ads specific to their interests and profile data. But in the next 6 to 12 months:

“Marketers will be able to pay to accelerate usage they find valuable, to dial up and down actions that people take on applications, as part of the Social Ads program. For instance, News Feed uses an algorithm to communicate a users actions to the friends who would find it most interesting. Marketers will be able to pay for increased or enhanced distribution above and beyond what News Feed already provides.”

What does this mean?

The algorithm that Facebook has implemented to determine your closest friends can easily be translated into a marketing tool, with Facebook charging advertisers to get your positive messages about their products sent to as many people as they would like.

Brand integration / advocacy / endorsment is the holy grail for this platform. Will it work? Will it piss the users off, even more that the ridiculous amount of 'App' invites we get daily?; Who knows.

As anything, If done well it'll succeed. Reminds me of the 'Viral' platform, every client wants a piece of it, but when it comes down to the investment behind it and what it actual achieves is miles apart.

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