Everybody and his brother is talking about Facebook advertising and how crappy it is (not to mention how crucial it is for Facebook’s future).
But the news of today is that Robert Scoble just had a great idea. Why not to have people-related advertising?
Imagine if advertisers could “buy people.” I just clicked on Ryan’s profile, hes into Running and Golf. Why don’t ads for running and golf gear get put onto his profile? Wouldn’t that make sense? He’s also a software developer. Where’s the Visual Studio advertisement? He’s into video games. Where’s the Halo 3 advertisement?
Translation: Facebook needs an advertising platform and it needs one in the worst way. I’m not going to even look at the ads until the ads are tied to the people on Facebook. Facebook knows what we’re into, put ads for those things onto our profiles and messages.
In my opinion this is just genius. Robert, you just invented Adsense for people, dude!
It’s damn simple: you have some friends, they like some stuff and – likely – they’ll talk about it. Just gather the discussed words and place relevant ads on people’s pages.
But wait a minute: is this any better than adsense? You bet it!
Adsense puts some ads on blogs and sites in general analysing the content being written. That works for 2 main reasons:
- extreme affinity: if I like basket, I’ll go to basket blogs. Put a basket ad on a basket blog and suddenly you don’t have an annoying interruption anymore but a useful information and – therefore – I’ll be more likely to take action;
- an unbelievable exploitation of the long tail: due to it’s low access costs and the fact that it works best with niches markets, AdSense brought into the game advertisers and content producer far below the tail, people that never even thought they could ever be involved into advertising;
Now, what does this FaceSense bring on the table?
- Affinity: it’s at least on par than AdSense. It could be a little more tricky to take the relevant stuff out of the clutter for Facebook pages tend to be less focused than (some) blogs on a specific subject;
- Long Tail exploitation: here you take evolution e step further. Most Facebook users never even considered blogs, nor they ever thought of themselves as Media. Now how cool is saying that you can get some money out of your Facebook page?
- Believability: this is where FaceSense really shines. Just think about this: your friend writes about her latest extreme sport passion, extreme ironing, and how good it feels to actually iron your shirt after you got to the top of the mountains. Now an ad about a gorgeous ironing trip to Tibet pops up. What will YOU do? Right.
Let me add my own little idea: why the hell don’t Facebook (or any smart app builder, for that matter) add a recommendation platform???
It’s a no brainer: you suggest stuff to your friends, they buy and you and Facebook (or the smart guy etc) get a chunk of it. Your friends would NEVER buy anything on Amazon (site) anymore. It’s such a better feeling to hand some money to your friend in the process. This will be even less annoying than relevant ads for people will share only the best to their friends, and it also adds to their social experience.
Also, you get the same cool claim about making money out of your social time. What is Facebook waiting for?
UPDATE: Mark Cuban just posted an interesting pov on Facebook adv opportunity:
I think the beauty of Facebook is that people for the first time have defined and opened up the “database of their lives”. Which if integrated into an advertising platform like Panama would allow advertisers to truly personalize ads, rather than algorithmically present ads. To me it was an interesting conversation.
I think it could change the way advertising is handled on the net. Each user could have the option to publish certain fields/objects which could be replicated/peered to the licensees of the API and then integrated Into the ad serving application. When the user showed up on the licensee site, say Yahoo Finance, the ad server could present a contextual ad chosen based on the published objects within the context of the Yahoo content.