Yet Another Facebook Story: Friends Selling Friends

Me channeling Mark Zuckerberg: Hey, I know, instead of brands pitching products, let’s get regular people to do it for them. You know, it’ll be like word-of-mouth on crank.
According to stories in Ad Age and The New York Times, Facebook’s CEO told a group of clients and press gathered in New York yesterday that his firm will “help you create some of the best ad campaigns you’ve ever built.”
Zuckerberg spoke in grand terms about of the death of mass advertising and said that in the future, ad messages would increasingly be conveyed from friend to friend through online networks.
Facebook is also letting advertisers set up their own profile pages at no charge and encouraging companies like Blockbuster, Condé Nast and Coca-Cola to share information with Facebook about the actions of Facebook members on their sites.
When asked about people who might not like ads, Mr. Zuckerberg shrugged and said, “I mean, it’s an ad-supported business.”
[UPDATE] For some brilliant commentary on this development, click over to Rough Type. Here’s a quick sample of Nicholas Carr’s bite:

It’s a nifty system: First you get your users to entrust their personal data to you, and then you not only sell that data to advertisers but you get the users to be the vector for the ads. And what do the users get in return? An animated Sprite Sips character to interact with.

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About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.