Facebook held its much-anticipated fMC event (Facebook Marketing Conference or “for more cash,” depending on your perspective) at the Museum of Natural History in New York today. And its not that far from what we told you back in December when Betabeat leaked details of Facebook’s plan to sell your timeline to advertisers.
COO Sheryl Sandberg started out talking about Facebook’s role in the Arab Spring, before moving onto Facebook’s ability to change the public’s relationship with politicians and celebrities, then finally got to the big reveal: Facebook Premium. The old online ad model is fixated on companies “talking at their customers,” whereas, “They want to be a full part of the conversation.”
“It enables brands to find their voices… and to have genuine, personal relationships with their customers,” said Ms. Sandberg. Facebook, helping you built lasting, intimate bonds . . . with organizations that want to sell you shit.
“Essentially, Facebook has decided to turn its social network into a massive marketing platform,” Courtney Boyd Meyers writes on The Next Web. Here’s how they’re planning on doing it:
- Businesses now have pages with Timelines.
- Brand “stories” will now be featured on your Newsfeed.
- Facebook launched a product called a “Reach Generator” which promises brands that their content will reach fans once a month.
- Facebook’s logout page will also now feature ads. “That’s right,” writes Ms. Boyd Meyers. “On your way out the door, Facebook will be pushing ads and offers to you too. “
“Facebook’s goal was likely to make Pages more about storytelling than product selling. And it worked. Pages look beautiful, and they don’t feel like billboards or smarmy marketing shills. Users won’t be fooled into thinking they can’t post to a Page’s wall or view its info or photos without Liking first. Their first interaction with a brand will be seeing its organic content and what their friends are saying. That’s good for users, and it will keep Facebook a place people want to spend time.”
Convincing the world a sales pitch is actually a conversation and an advertisement is a narrative? Philip K. Dick couldn’t have written it better.