We’re more than used to Facebook bombarding us with constant changes to its layout, apps and general use, but the latest adaption to its system has seen the social media giant attract mixed reactions. Set to introduce a new real time ad exchange, advertisers will soon be able to bid for more relevant, time sensitive ads, but what consequences will this have on the company itself as well as its users?
What Changes Will This Bring?
There is no questioning that a large percentage of Facebook’s revenue is generated through its advertising, so in many ways there is no surprise that the social network is addressing the fact that it is to a large extent a display ad company and thus making significant changes.
Facebook’s management will be working with third party RTB platforms such as TellApart, Turn and Mediamath, allowing brands to create ads targeting its users based on their offsite browsing history. For example, when the new system comes into place, a sports related company might release an advert based on a recent result in order to spark more of a reaction. With a large number of users of the social media site claiming to ignore the barrage of adverts across the screen, advertisers were under pressure to come up with a new way to tackle this, and by playing to peoples’ interests and relating them to really current topics, this might well be achieved.
How Effective Are These Changes Likely To Be?
Whilst the new approach to targeting ads may well have a positive affect for advertisers, how is this likely to impact on Facebook’s overall success?
Paid ads have a notoriously bad reputation and this new approach to purchasing ads looks suspiciously like a badly judged attempt to disguise this. Whilst so far, paid ads on Facebook have earned the company a large amount of money, experts have suggested that the company might be struggling to balance making money with user satisfaction.
With new user figures slowing and mobile device use growing, the company has been forced to adapt to some major changes recently and it appears their real-time ad platform is the starting point for these alterations.
How Could The Changes Affect Facebook’s Relationship With Its Users?
However, there are inevitable doubts over whether the possible benefits of the new platform could be more than outweighed by the negative effect on the relationship between Facebook and its users. There are worries that allowing these new developed ads could add more momentum to the long running concerns expressed by users about privacy. In fact a survey conducted by nakedsecurity showed recently that 60% of Facebook users have considered leaving over privacy concerns, with a worrying 16% having already done so.
However, it is worth pointing out that Facebook’s management will not be allowing advertisers to target their adverts based on activities and interests expressed by users on their profiles. However, when users begin to notice these somewhat personal ads appearing on their screens, it is doubtful as to how much consolation this might provide, and with the development expected to take place within the next few weeks, it looks as though Facebook might have to address these issues fast.
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