Monday, March 02, 2009

The Afternoon Report, February 26, 2009

Ordinarily I would run this feature on the day it appears in my email, but I missed this due to being involved in a multi-day project. Still, I thought it worthy of talking about...

This information, called The Afternoon Report, is provided by a daily email blast from the publicity firm of Boneau Bryan-Brown, which maintains this blog. This feature doesn't run daily but whenever The Afternoon Report seems to point out articles of interest.

Ad strategy at root of Facebook privacy row
Reuters – by Eric Auchard
“While Facebook has outpaced MySpace in bringing in members -- it has 175 million active users at the latest count, compared with around 130 million for MySpace -- it has struggled to make money from them. While MySpace is closing in on $1 billion in revenues, Facebook generated less than $300 million in sales last year, reports say. Indeed, Facebook's efforts to drum up revenue have led to it repeatedly becoming the target of some of the biggest online privacy protests on the Web. Its most recent fight earlier this month followed Facebook's attempt to redefine its own rules and assert ownership over anything its members posted on the site. The company has since backed off and is rethinking its policies.

Facebook encourages advertising that seeks to trigger social interaction between members, in effect using networks of friends for viral marketing of messages. The snag is that rewiring how the site works to make such ads more effective, has actually alienated users. Many regard attempts to make money by passing on their information in subtle ways as positively creepy. While MySpace has been criticized for flooding its member pages with garish advertising, it has never had to rewrite its basic privacy ground rules as a result and is unapologetic for its strategy. The straight ahead commercialism of the site does not provoke mass protests.”
But isn't it true that Facebook has been skewing older and older? Could it be that the MySpace generation hasn't the invasion-of-privacy fears that the Facebook folks have?

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