Kids and adults (I leave anyone out?) adorn themselves with brands that show who they are and what they like. Some adorn themselves with anti-brands, e.g., nondescript trucker hats (sorry truckers) to show who they are. But one thing they rarely do is sell ads on themselves. That’s the line Facebook seems to have crossing yesterday. Mark Zuckerberg (age deleted for the first time,) Facebook’s CEO has listened to the “man” and swallowed the commerce pill that will begin to bring him down.
Mr Zuckerburg thinks that because some of the ad messages will appear to be referrals from friends, they will be more welcome. (Ever see a friend come down the street with an order form and a box of oranges?)
Until today, Facebook’s reason for being has been its users. As users now allow Coke, Sprite and Bertolli Spaghetti Sauce to muck up the experience, Facebook’s coolness will begin to wane. It will bell curve up for a while, since the social ad thing is new, but start to slow down as users decides to regain control. And to those people in search of more control I say “Feel Free.”
Social Computing, not social networking or social media is the next thing. Key word “social.” For MySpace and Facebook the keyword is “Networking” and that’s a word that draws advertisers from miles away.