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Social Advertising, bah!

A lot has happened since I posted about Facebook Ads, in fact, Facebook themselves further developed their ad platform adding what is now called “Beacon,” Facebook Pages which allow businesses to create a page on Facebook to advertise from instead of using a profile and of course, Social Ads.

All of this is supposed to layer on another dimension to targeted advertising and make us want to click the ads.

Of course, a lot of privacy groups don’t think so. In fact, MoveOn.org, an online advocacy group, has already started protests against Beacon even creating a Facebook group to petition against it.

I don’t have very good feelings about social advertising, especially as Facebook is implementing it. Since even if Beacon were to go away, the Social Ads part of Facebook appears mixed up with your news feed. This is as bad as Google’s text link ads which can appear unobtrusively in a blog post or article you’re reading.

Another annoying social ad is people using Twitter streams to advertise. And doing it badly.

Case in point? Saawariya, a Bollywood movie decides to create a twitter stream. All well and good, but how does it publicise it? By following all the Indian users on Twitter. This doesn’t mean they follow the Twitter stream back, but when someone goes to the Saawariya stream and hits the “With Others” link, it shows you the Saawariya updates along with public updates from all the people Saawariya is following! So while your updates may have been public, you probably didn’t know that so many people could see your updates, huh?

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Facebook ads

Today Facebook began displaying advertisements in the “news feed” you see on your home page. Here’s an example of one I saw today

When I clicked on the link in that ad, it took me to a page displaying this video

While a single ad in my news feed is not going to bother me much, I don’t know whether I’d feel the same if there are going to be many of them scattered through the feed. Also, it doesn’t look like this ad has been contextually targeted (unless Facebook knows something about me I don’t?) But I’m sure they have that idea lurking around somewhere.

What was really interesting though was that the ad was being served through DoubleClick which is in the process of being acquired by Google. So all those guys predicting the downfall of Google at the hands of Facebook might want to re-think their arguments a bit! 🙂

Yes, yes I know that’s not precisely what Scoble was saying, but I still think he’s full of hot air. 😛