Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Facebook Actively Chasing Its Own Demise

Posted By on Wed, Jul 31, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Facebook, the social networking site seemingly everyone uses, but no one seems to enjoy, is considering adding TV-style fifteen second commercials to users' news feeds, according to Bloomberg, priced at $1-2.5 million a day.

People at Facebook, including Mark Zuckerberg, are apparently paying at least lip service to how their customer base will react to these ads:

Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, who has been working with global marketing head Carolyn Everson on the video ad service, pushed back the start date at least twice, wanting to make sure Facebook’s user experience won’t be tainted by the ads, according to the people. Zuckerberg wants high-definition video and easy-to-use playback features, the people said.

Zuckerberg said last week that he’s sensitive to how users react to advertising in general. He plans to limit the amount of ads people see to about one for every 20 updates. That would comprise about 5 percent of a user’s news feed.

“One of the things I watch most closely is the quality of our ads and people’s sentiment around them,” Zuckerberg said. “We haven’t measured a meaningful drop in satisfaction.”

However, the Bloomberg report mentions that the ads will only make up five percent of a user's feed and that a user won't see a commercial more than three times a day, but the real question is whether these ads will auto-play, similar to those on YouTube. It's hard to imagine a company coughing up seven digits to buy a video ad that requires a click to become active, basically because no one (well, very few people, at least) is ever going to willingly subject themselves to fifteen seconds of McDonald's championing the return of the Monopoly game. I deal with the ads on YouTube because I recognize they're the cost involved in being able to watch 90's music videos at my whim. It's a workable deal. I don't know if I'll feel the same way if a video starts playing, with audio, so I can see another shared post from George Takei.

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