We live in a world driven by marketing techniques. Advertisements have saturated our environment, and continue to seep into every facet of everyday life – including Facebook.
Some may wonder if consumers’ constant exposure to advertisements help or hurt a company’s image, or whether it actually encourages consumers to inquire about products or services from that company.
According to Paul Tassi’s July 1, 2013 Forbes article titled, “Facebook’s Advertising Is Starting To Spiral Out Of Control,” Facebook has over 1 million advertisers pouring money into the property that is our newsfeed. By the end of 2013, Facebook had over 1.23 billion users worldwide, according to a Feb. 4 Guardian article.
There is uncertainty about whether or not the advertisements people see when using Facebook are actually beneficial to put on people’s news feeds. Some appear to have the most disdain for Facebook’s video ads.
“I don’t really notice the ads,” Madeleine Lett, freshman in pre-professional education, said. “But, I do think that it is annoying when the videos play by themselves, especially when I’m out in public.”
Michael O’Laughlin, freshman in finance, said that though he agreed with Lett, he is a little more open about the idea.
“I do notice them, but I’ve kind of learned to just pan over them when I’m scrolling down my newsfeed,” O’Laughlin said. “They don’t bug me too much, but it would be a little more convenient if they weren’t there, though.”
While Lett and O’Laughlin find video ads to be annoying but avoidable, sophomore in milling science and management Matt Salter said he found them to be completely unnecessary.
“They suck,” Salter said. “They’re annoying. I just want to look at my newsfeed without seeing them everywhere.”
The ads tend to be most predominant when users log in with a computer rather than a smartphone.
“They’re on my newsfeed, but they don’t like pop up and aren’t like banners like they are on other apps,” O’Laughlin said.
According to Facebook’s Developers page, anyone can make a Facebook ad and tailor its audience based on age, gender, interests, location and the operating platform.
While common users of Facebook may see these ads as an invasion of privacy and feel violated like Salter does, those involved in marketing see this as a very successful technique to reach certain audiences.
“I think any type of advertisement on a popular social media site is a smart marketing approach,” Nicholas Strohm, senior in marketing, said. “Millions of people are on Facebook every day, which gives a certain advertisement the opportunity to be viewed by a large amount of people.”
Strohm said the advertisements on Facebook do, in fact, bring revenue to the companies that buy up those ad spots.
“Any advertisement that is available to millions of people has a higher chance of reaping the benefits,” Strohm said.
With a marketing perspective on the topic, it’s easier to understand why Facebook has allowed its newsfeed to become the information super highway’s latest billboard.