It has been all the talk for the past 48 hours. Facebook will now take video (insert excited gasp here) and advertisers will be able to target the video based on people's Facebook profile and behaviors. (insert an even more excited gasp here). Could it be the Holy Grail? A massive audience that will be directly addressable on more personal data and behaviors than we have ever had before?
As everyone is now reading the small print, this is starting to look less like the Grail and more like a Solo cup.
-Basically the videos are going to interrupt the FB experience. Yep, grandma is going to have to watch that ad before she can catch up on what little Liza did today.
-Oh, and one has to spend a million dollars as minimum table stakes to run a campaign.
-Oh, and Facebook has to approve the creative. Not the standard making-sure-there-isn't too much-violence-bad-words-hatred-or-even-worse (insert another gasp) nudity. No, the approval will have to meet Facebook's creative standards which are looking right now will be pretty much whatever they say they are. So if your ad is too boring, well sorry not going to run on Facebook my friend.
I have never been a fan of Facebook personally. I never really liked something that seemed to have been built on all the bad elements of High School.
And, I haven't been a fan professionally. I have yet to see anything return anything close to ROI, and just what is the value of a "like" that has been paid for? I can tell you, not much. We have seen that those people who had to get paid for the "like" just moved on to the next "like" and the next payment.
Since Facebook has started to accept advertising they seem to me like the pilot that can't get out of a Death Spiral. Everything they do just seems to makes the spiral worse, and one just wants to scream out "take your hand off the throttle, and roll out of the spin" but they just do the opposite and the spiral just gets worse and worse.
-Do they really think Grandma is going to wait 15 or 30 seconds to catch up on what little Liza did today?
-How many advertisers have $1million in unused budget? Well, that would be CPG's, Beer, Autos; in other words the categories that produce most of the yawn-producing creative in the business. And, who wants to sit through one of those before finding out if the party is on tonight or not?
-Finally, what agency is going to come back to Facebook, if they say "hey, I couldn't stop yawning at your commercial it took you two million to produce, can you spice it up a little?"
This is all on top of the fact that Facebook is already becoming irrelevant for teens and pre-teens.
We recently did a focus group for a brand wherein not one of the participants uses Facebook unless they have to to keep parents and grandparents caught up.
The teens thought it too slow, a Disneyland for bullies and stalkers, and well.. just irrelevant; as one of them put it "Why use FB? I mean nobody is on there, except my mom. I just use Snapchat, and Instagram and Pinterest, and text with my real friends."
In marketing I don't think there are any worse words than "that's what my mom is doing".
So FB has now become the "mom thing".
And now it's now going to be harder for mom to do her mom thing, because she is going to have to watch your pre-FB-approved ad before she does it.
Doesn't seem to be the ground breaking product well all thought it was 24 hours ago and is just going to feed what I believe is a very inauspicious future for Facebook.