Facebook Wants You To Know How They Make Their Money

Yesterday I was browsing the Facebook and noticed a little message above my feed. The message stated that Facebook makes it’s money from ads and there was a link to learn how they do it. As an advertiser I was curious to see what Facebook was trying to tell users. Here is the page they showed me


What Is Facebook Trying to Accomplish?

Facebook has hundreds of millions of users. They’re still aggressively trying to grow and that is hard to do when you’ve already achieved that kind of market penetration. To grow, they need to get those people who aren’t on Facebook (and there are more than you’d think) to join while keeping current users. And there are few misconceptions about Facebook that I believe this page is addressing to try and clean up their image.

  • Ads are annoying – Okay, maybe not a misconception. But while users may not like ads, the reason is simple – “Ads help keep Facebook free”. So while they don’t want you to bail because of the ads, they do want to set the expectation correctly. You get Facebook for free, so don’t complain about the ads.
  • Ads are creepy – I’ve talked to many friends who mention that ads are targeted so well it’s creepy. This leads them to believe that the advertiser has some type of secret knowledge that allows them to show such a pointed ad. This leads them to believe that Facebook gave them that secret knowledge. Facebook is trying to let people know that they have control over ads and they can stop seeing them by simply clicking the little X on the ad (a great idea in theory that doesn’t work as well in practice)
  • Nobody clicks on ads – Everyone thinks that they don’t click on ads. My bet is that they do, but don’t realize/remember it. I’ve run too many campaigns on Google, Yahoo, MSN, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. I know people click ads. Lots of them. And they buy stuff after they do.

So basically, Facebook is trying to educate their users on why ads are there, how ads are being served and the potential benefits (yes, I said benefits because clicking ads can be a good thing). I’d love to see how many visitors clicked through to this page. Facebook?

About Robert

Conversion rate optimization and PPC wizard. If I'm not out playing ultimate frisbee or golf you may find me hiking, skiing or mountain biking.
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