Saturday, January 16, 2016

Facebook: Killing the goose?

None of us who use Facebook are so naive as to think that it is a free service.  The "cost" of playing is that they use all of the data you post to direct advertisements your way.  It is simply how these applications on the Internet are monetized.

But many friends and I have noticed a dramatic upswing in the number of sponsored items on our news feeds, often showing up with the message that one or another of friends has "liked" the link.  In the past, there would have been a few of these, but now they come in a ratio of 1:10 or 1:20 among the feeds on your page.  Here are three examples of what they look like.  (I've omitted the accompanying pictures.)

I searched the web to see if this upswing in such ads is a new deal, but found nothing.  But I did find this "helpful" suggestion on the Facebook "Help Community" from a few months ago:

Alison asked:

How do I stop the bombardment of advertising posts on my newsfeed - almost all totally irrelevant to me, and some against all my principles.

Hailey provided this non-answer:

Alison replied:

I know all about the options not to see ads from particular advertisers, but the bombardment I have been getting recently is beyond belief. And opting out of each on individually takes time which I don't have to spare. I want to be able to opt out of ALL ads and sponsored links. I'd never follow them anyway - I take word of mouth and recommendations from friends as the best advertising, not people who need to pay to advertise.

There was no response. 

So we know that we can delete the ads we don't like, but who wants to spend the time doing that as you scroll through looking for news from your friends?  As my buddy Lyette noted: "I've already found myself checking less often, because I know they don't even show me half of my friends' updates."

So, what do you think?  Is Facebook over-reaching now?  Will it change your viewing habits?


David Meerman Scott said...

I've noticed the same thing, Paul. It is sort of annoying. But based on their stock price, it seems to be the thing to do short term. I hope that long term it works out and I suspect it will because they are by far the world social networking leader.

Anonymous said...

Depends on how mad we all get at it. Some of us are starting to stay away from FB except for a few instances because no one wants a bunch of garbage.

Neville Sarkari MD, FACP said...

After giving it some thought, I deleted my FB account about 6 weeks ago. Haven't missed it for a second...

Anonymous said...

I don't spend much time on FB. There is so much more begging for my attention and my limited time.