[FoRK] Facebook. HATE SO MUCH
Joseph S. Barrera III
j3 at barrera.org
Fri Jun 1 17:33:13 PDT 2012
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [IP] On Facebook, 'Likes' Become Ads
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2012 20:27:49 -0400
From: Dave Farber <dave at farber.net>
Reply-To: dave at farber.net
To: ip <ip at listbox.com>
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Monty Solomon" <monty at roscom.com <mailto:monty at roscom.com>>
Date: Jun 1, 2012 7:42 PM
Subject: On Facebook, 'Likes' Become Ads
On Facebook, 'Likes' Become Ads
By SOMINI SENGUPTA
May 31, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO - On Valentine's Day, Nick Bergus came across a link to
an odd product on Amazon.com: a 55-gallon barrel of ... personal
He found it irresistibly funny and, as one does in this age of
instant sharing, he posted the link on Facebook, adding a comment:
"For Valentine's Day. And every day. For the rest of your life."
Within days, friends of Mr. Bergus started seeing his post among the
ads on Facebook pages, with his name and smiling mug shot. Facebook -
or rather, one of its algorithms - had seen his post as an
endorsement and transformed it into an advertisement, paid for by
In Facebook parlance, it was a sponsored story, a potentially
lucrative tool that turns a Facebook user's affinity for something
into an ad delivered to his friends.
Amazon is one of many companies that pay Facebook to generate these
automated ads when a user clicks to "like" their brands or references
them in some other way. Facebook users agree to participate in the
ads halfway through the site's 4,000-word terms of service, which
they consent to when they sign up.
With heightened pressure to step up profits and live up to the
promise of its gigantic public offering, Facebook is increasingly
banking on this approach to generate more ad revenue. The company
said it does not break down how much revenue comes from such ads. Its
early stock market performance - down 22 percent from its offering
price - is likely to increase the urgency.
But this new twist on advertising has already proved to be tricky.
Users do not always realize that the links and "likes" they post on
Facebook can be deployed for marketing purposes. And Facebook has
already agreed in principle to settle out of court a class-action
lawsuit over the practice in California.
Not least, its algorithms lack a sense of humor, which can lead to
surprises, as in the case of Mr. Bergus.
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