Truer Words—Not Saving But Selling Face (Update)By
In my May 30th, 2012, Truer Words blog post, I talked about how Facebook is selling us to ourselves. Well, in the “I could not make this up” category, consider the following article entitled On Facebook, ‘Likes’ Become Ads. The article appears to be by Somini Sengupta and originally came out of San Francisco. I say “appears” because articles like this are “repurposed” all over the place to the point that it’s hard to tell who the original author was. I’ve seen this same article over at Yahoo as well as the New York Times. Such is journalism on the Internet these days. Anyway, consider the following excerpt:
On Valentine’s Day, Nick Bergus came across a link to an odd product on Amazon.com: a 55-gallon barrel of personal lubricant.
He found it irresistibly funny and, as one does in this age of instant sharing, he posted the link on Facebook, adding a comment: “For Valentine’s Day. And every day. For the rest of your life.”
Within days, friends of Mr. Bergus started seeing his post among the ads on Facebook pages, with his name and smiling mug shot. Facebook — or rather, one of its algorithms — had seen his post as an endorsement and transformed it into an advertisement, paid for by Amazon.
In Facebook parlance, it was a sponsored story, a potentially lucrative tool that turns a Facebook user’s affinity for something into an ad delivered to his friends.
Amazon is one of many companies that pay Facebook to generate these automated ads when a user clicks to “like” their brands or references them in some other way. Facebook users agree to participate in the ads halfway through the site’s 4,000-word terms of service, which they consent to when they sign up.
So, in this Truer Words update, the Truer Words I’d focus in on are: “In Facebook parlance, it was a sponsored story, a potentially lucrative tool that turns a Facebook user’s affinity for something into an ad delivered to his friends.” Welcome to the world of Facebook where you are both the producer and the product. And as mentioned in my May 30th post, as a result of the recent Facebook IPO (initial public offering) now you can buy shares of yourself. I’m a bit old fashion and fiscally conservative: I’m still a privately held company.
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