So, one of my client’s boosted posts on Facebook triggered this response from a disgruntled FB user….
Let’s ignore the fact that within 5 words he (it was a he, though I’ve protected his identity for obvious reasons – you shouldn’t feed the trolls!) managed to use “you’re” rather than “your” and misused the comma…. the sentiment is clear.
He’s annoyed that his timeline was “invaded” by what is, frankly, an innocuous ad for a real estate development in Southern Spain.
Why would this be annoying?
Possibly, because it cluttered up what is likely to be a clean, streamlined timeline which only features quality posts from his closest friends, just like everyone else’s timeline. Or maybe not.
Possibly, because there is some deep seated frustration that he cannot afford to buy a second home in one of Europe’s most sought after destinations… well, guess what… I handle their ad campaign and I can’t afford one either… so stop whining.
But this reaction runs deeper – here are my thoughts…
You don’t complain about ads on other media
Does anyone get upset about the ads they see in newspapers or magazines? Or on TV? Or on the radio? Or on billboards, the sides of busses, at airport terminals, etc?
They might complain – and rightly in some cases – about the content, but not about the fact that they exist. The complaint about spam is fundamentally an online phenomenon. Nowhere else do people believe that they somehow own the space where the ad is placed.
No-one seems to feel that ads have somehow invaded their newspaper – and that they are somehow only visible to them – that they have been singled out in some way. But ads in their FB timeline suddenly become a personal affront.
You don’t have to use facebook
If you get upset about seeing ads on your FB timeline here’s a novel idea… stop using facebook.
It’s not obligatory and there are plenty of people who get by fine in life without it. and they don’t have to look at any ads.
But you like facebook, don’t you? So that’s not an option.
facebook isn’t yours
When people talk about “My FB timeline”, “My FB page” they are essentially misappropriating the space. It’s not your timeline, it’s not your page. It’s facebook’s. Want proof of this? Write something that contravenes their policy and they’ll block you for a cool off. Do it again and they might delete your account.
It’s facebook’s bat and ball and you will play by their rules or you won’t play at all.
Because FB can be so intimate and personal, this is easy to forget. You can complain all you want about freedom of speech and your right to publish whatever you want – but you can only do this if FB is happy for you to do so. Offend too many people, or one person too much and you’re gone.
You don’t pay to use facebook
And now we get to the real heart of the matter. FB is free to use. For the user.
Do you know who it’s not free for?…. Mark Zuckerberg.
It costs him a small fortune to give users FB for free.
There is an option with YouTube to pay for an ad free experience – and many people have chosen this option. At present, there is no ad free option for FB – although Mr. Zuckerberg may well be looking at the option – although I am guessing that if the author of this comment on our timeline is an indication of the target audience to which he could pitch this idea… it wouldn’t be a successful sideline.
So someone has to pay…. and since it’s not the users…. that’s right – it’s the advertisers! Me and my clients.
So…. your, welcome (sic)
This now appears to be a growing trend… we’ve now had the below posted a couple of times by different users…. hilarious (not) but literally raising a stink with my client…