Monday, November 12, 2007

Facebook Ads: Old, New Or Irrelevant

Facebook Ads: Old, New Or Irrelevant!
The Economist
Everything old is new again: Facebook's advertising system is a new take on an old concept. Paul Lazarsfeld and Elihu Katz, authors of the influential 1955 media classic "Personal Influence" argued that marketers actually target certain individuals in their media messages, called "opinion leaders" rather than mass audiences. These individuals are today referred to as "influentials" because it is they who virally disseminate information.
Social networks now make it possible for these targets to reach larger groups of peers more quickly and easily. However, by putting this kind of control in the hands of persons who are unaffiliated with them, marketers run the risk of their brand being criticized.
Opponents of Facebook's invitation to let consumers spread marketers' messages say the tactic is "creepy." Others claim it will dilute the quality of the social-networking experience for Facebook's users. Paul Martino, an entrepreneur who launched the social network Tribe, says that interpersonal relationships on social networks are of an increasingly poor quality, anyway. "Social graphs degenerate to noise in all cases," he says, which means marketing campaigns could "descend into visual clutter ... rather than being the next big thing in advertising." - Read the whole story...

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