Facebook Does An About Face On Social Ads

Well, that was fast. Just three weeks in to the glorious future of advertsing as reinvented by Facebook, the soc net is stepping off. Adweek frames the situation.

Under mounting pressure from consumer privacy groups and its own community, Facebook has moved to scale back its plans to publish accounts of its users’ purchases and other commercial activity.
As of late Thursday, Facebook users must now proactively consent to alert friends whenever they take various actions, such as renting a DVD or purchasing a pair of sneakers.
Those public announcements, enabled by the company’s new Beacon technology, were the centerpieces of Facebook’s new Social Ads initiative, which was unveiled on Nov. 6. Facebook executives touted Beacon as a way for brands to tap into the power of personal endorsements among friends. Company founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke about Social Ads in revolutionary terms: “This is a completely new way of thinking about advertising online.”

I guess a “completely new way of thinking about advertising online” is tough when you couple that with advertising’s history of being a completely old way of pissing people off.
Is Facebook jumping the shark? Can it sustain its momentum?

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About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for TalentZoo.com and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.