Let’s face it, we’ve all seen advertisements on Facebook. This is not a new phenomenon as far as we are concerned. We’ve seen ads for vacations, fitness plans, clothing and the like, but have you ever seen an ad for Facebook…on Facebook? Well, you’re about to see a lot more. According to Monday’s AdAge article, Facebook’s executive creative director Scott Trattner confirmed they started their own in-house 40-person ad agency known as “The Factory.” The Factory, whose name is derived from Andy Warhol’s “Factory,” is an assorted grouping of different employees, from engineers to filmmakers to artists, copywriters, and strategists. Scott explains the insight that “people understand Facebook as a product pretty well, but do they understand it as a brand? We know that this is a great product to connect people, and it started out as something connecting college students, and now we’re attempting to connect the world. [And] we came onto this notion about friendship. So we’re really going at this basic idea — just to let people know we stand for friends.”
Like most successful social media platforms, Facebook has continued to evolve by introducing new technologies and expanding to new mediums. However, in recent months, Facebook has become a lot less “friendly” to brands. The company’s shift in strategy preaches a reach first approach while putting less of an emphasis on engaging users. Facebook is encouraging brands to invest more money to reach their own fan bases with the average paid ad costing a whopping $50,000 PER POST. It is slowly transforming into a “pay to play” platform and evolving closer to the traditional paid media model. We talked a lot in class about how brands are putting more of a focus on content marketing, but if Facebook continues in this direction, it will only move further away from a social network of friends and more towards traditional advertising. Facebook used to stand for “friends”, now it just stands for finances.
My question to the class- has Facebook’s new approach to paid branded content decreased your usage of the site? If Facebook continues on this trajectory, would it ultimately deter you from using the platform all together?