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Facebook: the brewing War between Users and Advertisers

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9 November 2012

Facebook is torn between Users and Advertisers

An alarming post on Ars Technica points out the fact that Facebook page owners have noticed click-throughs from Facebook dropping drastically, even when engagement with pages rise.

An obvious conclusion, especially given the timing of this sudden drop, is that Facebook is trying to incentivise page owners to use their “Promoted Posts” feature, generating revenue for Facebook.

Facebook’s take on this is that they’re merely trying to un-clutter their users’ feeds. Obviously. With the “Edgerank” algorithm being 100% untransparent, it is the safest reply possible.

Giving Facebook the benefit of the doubt, however, points to a more fundamental problem, one that Twitter is also in the process of exploring: Do social networks really belong in the domain of advertising? Or should they, like App.net believes, charge users directly for use?

The advertising model has a serious flaw, in that users don’t create revenue directly, but indirectly, through advertisers, and these two groups have two very different ideas about what content should be.

The flaws of the paid model, however, is still mostly unknown …

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