Facebook, the land of free (advertising)

While Facebook is still figuring out how to monetize its service, the Facebookers are busy monetizing the service for themselves.
More and more often I get ‘friend’ requests from entities other than persons. As soon as I accept them, their statuses, messages and requests start pouring in, filled with… yes, the advertisement of their activities. Sometimes it comes in handy, if you want to keep updated. But sometimes I get the impression that in the few months I have been using Facebook it has turned into a giant ‘do-it-yourself’ advertising engine.

People displaying themselves as persons also advertise. A ‘friend’ of mine puts the name of his website in his every status. Another friend frequently tells all his contacts to ‘go check out my blog’. A ‘friend’ I have never met but reluctantly admitted, puts the same slogan in his status every couple of hours, advertising his business. Daily I am being bombarded by ‘events’ and ‘groups’ and their advertising messages. Again, sometimes I do like to know what is happening, especially due to the handy ‘event’ feature showing ‘who is attending’ and ‘who is not’. But sometimes I wish I would see more people when I go on Facebook.

A logical conclusion would be for Facebook to monetize on their users’ monetizing Facebook. Did the new American President pay for his Facebook page? I have no idea. Did a Facebook page pay off for him in the election race? You bet it did. I suppose filtering ‘businesses’ from ‘just people’ would probably mean screening the users’ content and stumble on privacy issues. However, somehow I get a feeling that a ‘premium’ user account on Facebook is not such a far away future.

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