Beacons and Fans and Facebook, Oh My!

Posted: November 9, 2007 in Behavioral Targeting, Data Driven, Social Media, Trends
Tags: , , , , ,

With a current valuation hovering north of $15 billion, Facebook’s positioning to back into that valuation will be an interesting unfolding of events, beginning with this week’s big announcement to agencies in New York. Facebook kicked off the beginning of a series of marketing opportunities that will either fly or flop. The social networks have started down a path that requires a focus on meeting the ongoing needs of both consumers and marketers. Now that both Facebook and MySpace offer targeted ads based on various degrees of consumer provided information combined with behavior, the mainstream social network ecosystem risks becoming cluttered, even if the ads are relevant. The contextual relevancy and layout of ads within profile pages will need to strike a serious balance between consumer acceptance and advertising effectiveness.

This is great news! This is what we’ve been waiting for folks. Let’s not screw it up!

As the #2 social network opens the vault of consumer data and the ‘social graph’ (the interconnecting digital relationships that make Facebook what it is), every move is being scrutinized by an industry full of microscopes. Even the very legality of Facebook’s move is being questioned.

The $15 billion question is: Does Facebook, the brand, have enough fuel to continue to be embraced by consumers for the social platform it provides , in exchange for consumers’ willingness for marketers to enter the ecosystem in a relevant manner?

Facebook will be living up to my mantra of making the marketer part of the experience, rather than an advertising message sitting on top of it. But it seems like we’ll soon learn if there is a point past which we can’t push the envelope in today’s social media climate. Let’s buy some Facebook SocialAds and find out!

The new targeting engine is dubbed Beacon. The data-driven media evangelist in me loves the concept. The service is launching with 44 partner sites, and basically allows users to share online activities including purchases, reviews, photos and CGM postings from any member site, on their Facebook pages, thus tapping into the power of consumer endorsements of specific products and retailers.

Launch partner include AllPosters.com, Blockbuster, Bluefly.com, CBS Interactive (CBSSports.com & Dotspotter), eBay, ExpoTV, Fandango, Gamefly, Hotwire, Joost, Kiva, Kongregate, LiveJournal, Live Nation, Mercantila, National Basketball Association, NYTimes.com, Overstock.com, (RED), Redlight, SeamlessWeb, Sony Online Entertainment LLC, Sony Pictures, STA Travel, The Knot, TripAdvisor, Travel Ticker, Travelocity, TypePad, viagogo, Vox, Yelp, WeddingChannel.com, Zappos.com, and a number of IAC brands, including CollegeHumor, Busted Tees, iWon, Citysearch, Pronto.com and echomusic.

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