Thursday, October 25, 2007

Facebook Insights

As I think about my Internet usage in comparison to that of my peers, I realized how many times a day we all check our Facebook accounts. Regardless of how many times we check our Facebook accounts, I do not know anyone who actually acts on the advertisements they see. Some of my peers had no idea that there were advertisements on Facebook at all. With the outrageous amounts of money being invested in this developing company, investors would hope that their advertisements are being viewed and acted upon. I am sure that many of us see the advertisements, perhaps out of peripheral vision at most, but I have never met anyone who responded to an advertisement they saw on Facebook.

Perhaps this problem is due to the fact that Facebook is a social network where students can log on and view updates of their friends and classmates. Facebook is known for allowing its users to send messages, find friends, view profiles, and upload pictures for all their friends to see. Recently, Facebook has been recruiting and hiring new employees to add new features for their users as well. Are these features really adding value to the service though? Many college students find these new features not user friendly and a pain to get rid of. It leaves you wondering whether Facebook really knows its customers.

If Facebook is having trouble identifying its customers needs, that would explain why many of us are not impacted by the advertisements they use on their site. It many not be the type of advertisement or even the company, but perhaps the location of the advertisement or even the format of the advertisement. If these advertisements remain on the sides of the page, Facebook users will not shift their attention from looking at friend’s love lives and updates to look at the latest iPod product. Another reason that these advertisements are not as effective as they should be is that there is no direct connection between the student viewing the advertisements and using the service. Other online services will only allow their users to move forward to view their profiles or webpages after they view an advertisement. In this case, the advertisement is forced upon the user.

In summary, Facebook has done a good job in listening to their users by adding the new applications to their service. However, some of the new applications are not what the users were expecting. When Facebook users logged on for the first time, many of us were expecting more to this simple service. Now, we have too many options and too many applications to use in one visit to the website. This paradox of choices has turned many of Facebook’s first faithful users away and has also hindered investor’s futures.

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