November 18, 2007
I don’t think too many of the 5-million-plus members of Facebook were impressed when it sold a 1.6% stake to Microsoft a couple of weeks ago, but the announcement of their new ad strategy will impress even fewer if not actually enrage them!
So what’s the problem with ads being displayed on Facebook pages? It’s free to use after all, and Facebook needs to generate income somehow. Advertising is the obvious route to take. What, then, is the problem?
What has users up in arms is the fact that the new ads displayed will carry the profile-pictures of members as if to say “try this product, I recommend it”. The problem here is that the pictures/photos of members don’t belong to Facebook to use in this way. The legality of this strategy is being hotly debated by privacy advocates and Facebook.
Could a move like this spell the end of Facebook? Probably not. Too many Internet users exist who don’t seem to care about putting their lives on digital display and the fact that their photos will accompany ads may just spur many of them to join up if they aren’t already members.
However, this kind of user will reduce the quality of a network like Facebook and could lead to more ‘responsible’ users going someplace else to socialise.
Read “Will Facebook survive past 2008” for more…