You can block ads, you can block commercials, but will you block your friends? Facebook has come out with a new way to promote advertising on their site. Doing their best to leverage your community of friends for their gain, Facebook will now allow your friends to select products they like and then pass that information on to you in the form of what has been declared a ‘social ad’.
Now, I can kind of see the logic behind this. You and your friends likely have similar tastes, likes and dislikes. So, what’s good for your friends is in most cases probably good for you as well. And, who knows you better than your friends right? They are generally someone you trust when seeking product advice allowing you to make informed decisions about products and services based on their experience. However, The key point in this entire process though is that you seek this information out.
If I am buying a new car, I’ll ask my friends what they like and don’t like about their cars. However, I don’t want my friends pushing their car information on me if I didn’t ask for it. This is where I see a likely problem with this part of their new ad idea. I only want information I need, seek out, and can (immediately) use. I have to wonder, depending on how invasive this is, could this actually cause rifts within online friendship circles if this information comes through unwarranted and unsought after? What will this do to the Facebook community? It is likely people will start looking for work arounds and ways to avoid this annoyance as they have with previous advertising attempts. CNET makes a good point, if your community members are looking for work arounds, then it is likely what you’re doing is actually counter productive.