As speculation built that Facebook would be launching a major media service, I worried that Facebook might be focusing on the wrong opportunities:
For the economy as a whole, more media means more advertising opportunities. That’s great for Facebook’s short-term bottom line, but not so great for the rest of us. We don’t like the advertising we have. Too often, it’s an annoying shouting match between competing brands: banks and insurance companies, reeling from a loss of consumer trust, trying desperately to win us back.
Facebook’s great potential is in better advertising. Yet, the social network appears to be ignoring some important foundational steps in that direction.
You can read both posts to learn about the projects that I think Facebook should be giving more time and attention. I’m not suggesting anything too radical — rather, I am mostly encouraging Facebook to open a few game-changing advertising tools that it has previously tested for general public use.
The big announcements are now behind us, and the tech press is swooning over Facebook’s new gadgets, but we’ll have to let the dust settle before we know if the new tools are as suitable to commerce as they are to media. To Facebook’s credit, they have opened up a whole new set of flexible tools for developers that should make Stik.com and other high-value social sites better in one way or another.
Hat tips to:
- Umair Haque, for leading the “better, not more” school of thought and for noting the post on Twitter
- Jackie Cohen at AllFacebook for accommodating me during the busiest week of the year for her