Feb. 8th, 2012

terriko: Evil Soup (evil soup)
There's an interesting article up on NYT regarding Facebook's definition of "active users" for the purpose of its IPO. Here's the boing-boing link to the story for those who are sick of NYT's paywall nonsense interacting badly with privacy settings. But really, the interesting part is this:

In other words, every time you press the “Like” button on NFL.com, for example, you’re an “active user” of Facebook. Perhaps you share a Twitter message on your Facebook account? That would make you an active Facebook user, too. Have you ever shared music on Spotify with a friend? You’re an active Facebook user. If you’ve logged into Huffington Post using your Facebook account and left a comment on the site — and your comment was automatically shared on Facebook — you, too, are an “active user” even though you’ve never actually spent any time on facebook.com.

“Think of what this means in terms of monetizing their ‘daily users,’ ” Barry Ritholtz, the chief executive and director for equity research for Fusion IQ, wrote on his blog. “If they click a ‘like’ button but do not go to Facebook that day, they cannot be marketed to, they do not see any advertising, they cannot be sold any goods or services. All they did was take advantage of FB’s extensive infrastructure to tell their FB friends (who may or may not see what they did) that they liked something online. Period.”


The article goes on to point out that at least Facebook tries to count engaged users, unlike the way Twitter or Google have been criticized for counting users. So don't be too hard on them for that.

But here's the real kicker, and the first thing I thought of when I saw the paragraphs above:

The big question is how Facebook can put all of its “active,” er, engaged users in front of advertising?


So... will we see small ads with every like button? Am I going to get ads stuck on the end of the text messages I get with my friends' status updates? Having had this "flaw" in their numbers pointed out, it may behoove Facebook to demonstrate how this is an untapped resource on the advertising front... It's actually tempting to brainstorm about this as a creativity exercise, no matter how obnoxious excessive monetizing seems to me as a user.

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