My views on facebook’s advertising model

My views on facebook's advertising model

Mark Zuckerberg and the crew behind Facebook has just launched their redesigned users’ profile layout. One thing for sure is that loyal users will definitely need some time to ‘digest’ and get used to the new layout. In this post my focus is more on Facebook’s ad system and a bit on the new layout.

My guess is that one of the reasons they decided to redesign was to maximize their advertising revenue, as one of the first changes one sees is that the new layout has more ads in more places than the prior design.

The common mistake people who aims to make money from their website make is that they always try to incorporate an advertising model/space after the site has been up and running. Ad space/model should be included in the ‘prototyping’ phase before the actual site is designed… it will be better than having to change the layout later just to accommodate advertising when users are already familiar with the existing interface.
With all users’ personal information Facebook has, I think their advertising’s relevance is quite disappointing, couldn’t they use a more targeting ad system? Yes I’m in South Africa but that doesn’t mean all ads from SA companies appeals to me!

Geo-Targeting alone won’t make facebook’s ads reach their potential!

Facebook currently uses age, sex, location, workplace, and relationship status to target users. I believe things like a user’s ‘activities’ can also be of value in terms of filtering ads, if Alfred likes mountain hiking – hiking gear would definitely appeal to him. The user’s ‘Favourite books’ section can also be taken further, as the author’s other books can surely be of interest to the user.

I think most ad models fail to reach the site’s potential because the advertiser doesn’t make the ad’s relevance to the user a priority, they instead get obsessed with how the ad looks and how many ads the user is exposed to.
As a user I’d rather have an irritating and not so good looking ad that appeals to me rather than nice looking ad of a ‘Stop snoring now’ offer.

When I decide to click to view my friends’ photos on FB, all I want to see is pictures of my friends, not some advert asking me: ‘Are you moving to London’ – no thanks, I’m happy with my country and its flaws.

And how does an advertiser get the nerve to ask the users if they’d like to see more adverts? This is like saying [below a billboard], now that you’ve seen this billboard, go 4 streets up, turn left and go 2 blocks up and you’ll find another billboard!
Users use FB to interact with their buddies, they don’t go there looking for ads! So ads should be placed with caution.

Facebook fails at segmenting their users further so companies that advertises on it gets a more user targeted and efficient deal.

A perfect example of a company that excels with it’s online ad model, I’d say is Google, everybody visits Google with the same goal – to search. The reason Google’s ad system is a success is that their ads are in a way what the user is looking for, let’s say you search for ‘laptops’, you’ll be given search results on your ‘query’ plus ads of companies selling laptops in your country/area. Google offers advertising that ‘captures’ people while they’re interested.

What matters should not be the millions of users exposed to an ad but rather the number of users that find the ad appealing. If placed properly an advert could be the second best thing [ after the actual content ] that an advertiser could give the user.
FB has all the info it needs to show ads appealing to users individually, as most of it’s content is user-generated.

I believe facebook’s ad model can be made more efficient to increase their revenue and more importantly show ads that add value to a user’s ‘facebooking’ experience.