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How Facebook Sold You Krill Oil 114

An anonymous reader writes with this look at how Facebook tries to make and sell "thumbstopper" ads compelling enough to get people to stop scrolling through their news feeds. With its trove of knowledge about the likes, histories and social connections of its 1.3 billion users worldwide, Facebook executives argue, it can help advertisers reach exactly the right audience and measure the impact of their ads — while also, like TV, conveying a broad brand message. Facebook, which made $1.5 billion in profit on $7.9 billion in revenue last year, sees particular value in promoting its TV-like qualities, given that advertisers spend $200 billion a year on that medium. "We want to hold ourselves accountable for delivering results," said Carolyn Everson, Facebook's vice president for global marketing solutions, in a recent interview. "Not smoke and mirrors, maybe it works, maybe it doesn't."
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How Facebook Sold You Krill Oil

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 04, 2014 @08:57AM (#47598833)

    For the first time in my life I feel good about being a misfit.

    I do not have a facebook account nor a LinkedIN account for that matter - don't get me started on them!

    Anyway, reading that article it reminded me of something Henry Ford said (Bio on Netflix) with regards to GM/Sloan's success:

    To paraphrase:

    People were shrewd consumers looking for value. Now, they want to be sold to.

    When an advertising company like facebook or Google can make billions and fantastic margins, while companies who make things or provide services that actually add value to people's lives just survive, I just wonder where people's heads are. Everyone works so hard, but throws money on shit. And opportunities are drying up for work because of off-shoring, automation, and our demographic changes in our society.

    It's like the future of this country is going to be Medical (especially elder) or sales. That seems to be the only opportunities left.

    If you want to get rich quick - like Mark Zuckerberg - figure out how to see to people. Selling anything.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm taking my library card and getting out of here. If I believed in God, I'd become Amish for Christ's sake! It's the only way to get off of this merry go round!

  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Monday August 04, 2014 @09:21AM (#47598951)

    I had to create to make sure nobody else could create a fake account about me and fill it with slander

    Rerouting auxiliary power to the tinfoil hat.

    I know a couple of people this has happened to. It's usually a teenage prank. Unfortunately the OPs idea doesn't work. Everyone I know that this happened to already had accounts and the perpetrators just spelled the name slightly different.

    I just flat out deleted my account years ago. And trust me, that is no easy feat. You have to put in a request to remove the account, then they put a 2 week delay on the request. If you open the facebook site at all it restarts the counter. Given that facebook is nested on just about every site this was difficult. It happened so often I finally blacklisted every domain they own in IPTables on my firewall, then routed my phone through a VPN to the same firewall. At work I had to dump my browsers history, temp files, etc... so I wouldn't accidentally log in. What they considered a login at the time was crazy. Things might be easier (or harder) now, I wouldn't know. But I do know a lot of my friends and relatives are deleting their accounts now. They saw I did it, and didn't vanish into obscurity, so why not them to? There does seem to be a frequent problem of "What do you mean you didn't know there was a cookout?!?!" or "You didn't see the wedding photos?!?" but, to be honest, I haven't missed anything I'd have cared to see/attend anyway. If you really care that I show up, you got my number and you know I don't use facebook. If my attendance isn't even worth a phone call, I'd rather not attend.

  • Re:Snake Oil (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Electricity Likes Me ( 1098643 ) on Monday August 04, 2014 @10:31AM (#47599427)

    Here's the problem: Facebook will never not show you an ad. At the end of the day, if you don't fit a better model, they revert to lowest common denominator advertising. "Over drinking age? Male? Cue up the alcohol ad with women in it!"

    And that's the thing, Facebook's advertising as a result is like all the other advertising in the world: you know where it is, you know it mostly never applies to you, so you tune it out. If they make it more prominent, you turn on ad block. Which says worlds about their actual confidence in their data: they don't have any. They don't know what you will do next. Which is why they always show you something - because they can't afford not to. They won't leave ads turned off, then strategically show them right when you show a high probability of being interested in X and could be swayed to a brand. They have no idea when that is, or what it will be.

Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. -- Christopher Lascl