March 11, 2008

Facebook’s Zuckerberg on social advertising revenues (or rather, a lack thereof)

Filed under: Music,Social Networks,Web 2.0 — Administrator @ 4:46 pm

On Monday, Stacey Higginbotham from GigaOM interviewed Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. Is it just us or did Zuckerberg completely pan Stacey’s monetization question. Have a read below (and try not to laugh):

Let’s talk about monetization. You said yesterday that you envision the social advertising landscape evolving over the next 10…15…20 years. How will those ads evolve and when will we start seeing aspects of them on Facebook? And where does Beacon, which you said wasn’t an ad effort, fall into this?

ZUCKERBERG: When it comes to social ads we really want to line up what people are trying to do on Facebook and the utility it offers with monetization. If you look at what people are trying to do on the site, it’s communicating and connecting with each other and sharing information, so the business model should be around people sharing information and staying connected.

In banner advertising, people who have developed a trust with the audience run a banner ad and the trust bleeds over to the ad so people pay attention to it.

Right…so, let me get this straight, what Zuckerberg is saying is that he understand the concept of “social advertising” but he’s just not sure if it is going to work because users have such a low tolerance for annoying banner adverts. In any case, it doesn’t really matter because (as Zuckerberg can tell you from the front lines) the industry as a whole is going to need at least a decade, if not more, to develop a sensible/sustainable business model.

Look, we’re big fans of FB and what Zuckerberg and his team have accomplished but we’re just not drinking the social ad revenue Kool-Aid (at least, not at this point)…and to be honest, I don’t think Zuckerberg is either (but it is not like he can come out and say “we’re screwed”).

Perhaps this is one reason FB just hired Sheryl Sandberg (ex-Google) who has made a name for herself implementing services to collect data on users not just when they’re on a site but also once they leave…mapping digital footprints…maybe data is the ticket?

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