August 29, 2014

Has Facebook Lost The Fun Factor?

Brandon Winnie Tweet

Even though yesterday was the big iPhone 5 announcement, it was a tweet about Facebook that got me thinking (full disclosure – I own FB stock). This was the tweet from Brandon Winnie:
Brandon Winnie Tweet

My first reaction was two-fold:

  • That’s expected – Older people compose a larger part of the population and fall later in the adoption cycle.
  • It doesn’t matter anyway – Something doesn’t have to be “cool” to make a lot of money or get used a lot.

The first point is pretty self-explanatory. As Facebook becomes more and more ubiquitous it naturally starts skewing toward higher age groups. Since these people are the parents and grandparents to the early adopters, it becomes inherently “uncool”.
The second point is more debatable, but two examples come to mind.

  • Microsoft Office – This software has been around forever (in computer terms) and has never really been “cool”. However, that hasn’t prevented it from being a multi-billion dollar profit center for Microsoft and a must-have on virtually every computer (Mac and PC).
  • Google – When Google was the new kid on the block they were mega-cool. They had all that white space and delivered results that were head and shoulders above the competition. They quickly dominated the market and haven’t looked back. But as they’ve been copied I feel like Google isn’t so much “cool” as they are ubiquitous. They’re a freaking verb used for searching the internet. Does that stop them from making tons of money and holding on to over 2/3 of the search market? Nope, sure doesn’t.

In conclusion, it doesn’t matter that Facebook isn’t cool anymore. Sure it may get less press and the stock price has dipped, but they have almost 1 BILLION users and they’ll find a way to monetize them better. Facebook is not going to be the next MySpace and collapse in a matter of months. Agree or disagree?

Facebook Ads Pro Tip: Use Correct Grammar

Bad Grammar Ad

Over the weekend I was accosted by the following Facebook ad:

Bad Grammar Ad

Where to begin with this grammatical train wreck? Let’s do a little play-by-play:

  • “Get Girl Love Hiking!” – Is it supposed to be 2 sentences? Get Girl. Love Hiking. Because that would at least be a benefit (Get Girl) and then they’re just trying to build a little rapport. Right?
  • “Wanna get a girlfriends that like hiking?” – Yes, I want a girlfriend (in the committed relationship kind of way) but I don’t know if I could handle more than one. Newsflash: “a” is a singular article. You actually could have saved characters by getting this right.
  • “Only on meetsinglesonly you can get that!” – Why are you adding your URL here? It’s already right below your title. #wasteofspace

At least they did get a clear CTA in there with the old classic “Click here!” It almost makes the ad passable, but not really.

Will Facebook PPC Never Learn?

Annoying Facebook Ad

Ever since June of 2008 (yes, 2 years ago) Facebook ads have allowed you to “rate” the ad. At first it was a simple thumbs up/thumbs down approach where you would then be prompted to select the reason for your rating.

Facebook Ad Feedback

Initially I believe this feedback was used primarily to punish ads that users didn’t like, thus helping Facebook promote a better user experience and keep a handle on “spammy” advertisers. However, the current Facebook ad ratings also promise that my ratings will help Facebook serve me more relevant ads in the future.

Annoying Facebook Ad

Facebook Ad Removal

Facebook Ad Removal Thank You Message

When Will Facebook Learn?

As a single male in my mid-twenties, I get targeted by every major dating site on the web. I understand that I match their demographic info, so I’ve been “rating” their ads as uninteresting or repetitive for quite some time. However, as you can see from the screenshots above (taken from my account today) I still see dating site ads. It drives me crazy. Facebook asked for my feedback, I gave my feedback with their promise to improve the relevancy of my ads, but I still get the same lame ads. Come on Facebook!

Blogging like Chris Brogan (About the Death of MySpace)

Chris has a great blog and one of the few blogs I read regularly. However, as I sat down to write a blog for today I really came up blank. I know Chris has published numerous posts that give you ideas to post about, but I decided that I would just write a blog similar to many I’ve read on his blog. Two main steps are required:

  • Bring up a good, thought-provoking topic
  • End the post by asking people what they think about the thought-provoking topic

Here goes:

When Will MySpace Die?

For me MySpace died a couple of years ago when I left the network, canceled my account (no small feat by the way) and moved over to Facebook. I know a lot of friends who have followed a similar path and I know some who have stayed true to their first love MySpace. However, it got me thinking. MySpace is still a huge social network, especially in the US. Facebook, for all the positive press just recently passed them in US visits. While dead to me, MySpace is very much alive to millions of people.

Many people have discussed what happens to an individuals online identity after they die. Who has the right to cancel or take over accounts? Can you bequeath them to an heir? All good questions, but an even bigger question is, What do you do with a dead social network? The users won’t all disappear at once, but if MySpace goes belly up, what happens to the remaining users? The content? What do you think?

PS If you actually read this Chris, I would love to see your thoughts in the comments.

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