Do you remember Facebook back in 2004? Facebook used to be such a simple social networking site, and now it has been integrated within everyday life. In fact, thinking back – it is actually ridiculous to think I have been tied down to a social network site for six years.
It’s not abnormal to hear “I was looking at your Facebook wall”, or “Did you see on your news feed” across a dinner table amongst friends. In fact, everywhere I look – poster ads, television ads or digital ads – I am faced with the little dark blue Facebook logo. Facebook users used to complain that Facebook would keep updating, becoming increasingly difficult to manage. I don’t know if you remember when you saw the first advertisement on Facebook, but nowadays my newsfeed is completely covered in adverts! Whether it is suggested from my friends, popped up on my side bar or just integrated within my news feed I am totally swamped with ads. What annoys me is that not all of them are even legitimate websites, because anyone can use their page to suggest posts and create adverts.
The help section on Facebook can show you how to set up your own advert. They explain that Facebook Adverts are paid messages coming from businesses and they can include social context about friends. People who like your Page spend an average of 2 times more as a customer than people who aren’t connected to you on Facebook.
But why do we need to be faced with all these adverts? I admit that you can come across an advert that is beneficial, but they have become such a huge part of Facebook’s community that I think it is hard to even imagine what the social networking site would be like without them!
Apparently, we could imagine what life is without Facebook adverts. It has been rumoured that if introduced, an ad-free version of Facebook could make $1bn a month in revenue for the social site! Mentioned by Twitter’s co founder Biz Stone, he suggests that Mark Zuckerberg should introduce a feature similar to Spotify, where users are asked to pay a £6.50 per month subscription for Facebook premium without adverts. He mentioned that even if only 10 percent of Facebook users signed up it would receive $1bn per month!
Regardless of this idea, there was an introduction to new restrictions on Facebook’s adverts in June this year. The restrictions are for where the adverts are appearing on the social networking site. This new law was introduced after a complaint about a Sky advert promoting an M&S voucher on an explicit Facebook public page. Following this, there will be no adverts shown on pages which feature any violent, graphic or sexual content, even if such content is not in violation of the company’s rules.
I think it’s extremely interesting how premium services on social networking sites actually make money. So – would you like to pay for a Facebook premium feature, or are you not even a Facebook fan?!