Could This Be the Beginning of the End for Facebook?

By Carrie Kerpen

Okay, it’s likely not the beginning of the end. But it DID cause me to stop and think…

There I was, scrolling through my Facebook feed when suddenly, a post appeared. The post was from the page “Rachel Ray drops 37 pounds.”

 It caught my eye for a few reasons:

1. I have no connection to this page whatsoever
2. The photo featured a woman who was not Rachael Ray
3. Rachael’s name was spelled incorrectly

 

The post then went on to tell me how I could have the results of this mysterious “Rachel Ray.”

 

This post appeared as if it were in my feed from a brand I follow or a friend who I know. Since it was neither of those things, I figured others might have the same reaction that I did. Here’s what I saw in the comments section:

 

 

HUNDREDS of comments, all saying the same thing: REMOVE me.

 

At Likeable Media, we place ads on Facebook on behalf of our clients all of the time. We use suggested posts, sponsored stories, and other tools to get our clients’ messages out to the intended target.

 

Facebook’s biggest challenge post-SEC filing was its lack of accounting for the need for mobile ads. The stock plummeted, and so they reacted. However the current system allows for the equivalent of spam and  junk mail to spill into your feed. The platform is self-serve which means anyone can set up an ad. If Facebook cannot get control of the quality of content that shows up in  a sponsored post, then they’re in for serious challenges.

 

Facebook is a free platform, one that I support and encourage advertising on. However, the quality of the ads must be monitored in a far more efficient way.

 

Do you think that Facebook has a workaround for this issue? Share your thoughts below!

O C April 15, 2013
So, this was deemed as being LOWER quality than the "real" random, useless junk that appears in your feed? At least this junk pays for the service. The rest is being posted for free, distracting everyone involved. Try LinkedIn.
Cara Posey March 21, 2013
I think Facebook has plenty of current and potential problems...What do you suggest they do to manage quality control of ads placed? How does Google deal with this? The question was raised earlier in the week about whether paid profiles for FB is a good thing and I believe it makes sense. I suggested a freemium model, but problems like the ad you show above highlight how easy it could become to tick off the 90% who remain free users. Those who remain "subjected" to advertising should still have a reasonable expectation that this advertising is not spam or dangerous. That said, we all know that a higher barrier to entry for advertisers to hop on board could mean less revenue for FB in the short term. Hopefully Facebook will determine what their goal is...what empty spot do they want to fill for consumers in the long term...and work hard to earn loyal customers who can trust and enjoy their platform.
Dave Link March 19, 2013
To FB's credit, I have yet to see the type of spammy messages described above. While I've seen plenty of sponsored posts/stories in which I have zero interest, those ads have at least been relevant to other pages I like or items I've posted about recently. The real challenge, as you mentioned above, will be limiting those truly mass ad placements that have little to no social or interest targeting whatsoever. Those are the types of ads that will turn off users and damage the ad ecosystem that Facebook and its team are attempting to cultivate.
Mark Brian March 19, 2013
Facebook has become totally useless to me because of the ads, suggested apps, etc etc. I go to some group pages but my dislike of FB grows a little more very time I visit.
Amanda McCormick March 19, 2013
I've been thinking about this a lot lately -- Facebook has great ad tools for "micro-marketers" but they have said quite a lot publicly that they don't want to become a haven for shady, fly-by-night advertisers. Lately I've been seeing this kind of stuff a lot, the "one weird trick to..." school of crap marketing on Facebook. Along with that comes the alarming rise of fake profiles. As a marketer who works with awesome, legitimate brands, it's discomfiting to say the least -- both to be advertising alongside these chumps and also to be shelling out money for "likes" from fake profiles. I think this is a very big problem for Facebook's future.
Karen Shaller March 19, 2013
the platform is free, but aren't the ads paid?

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