Today was transformative for the Web. When Facebook announced that its ‘Like’ button is going to appear on publisher sites throughout the web they smashed their own dam walls positioning themselves as treasurer of the social currency of emotion.
This not only gave Facebook the capacity to capture an almost unlimited amount of real-time consumer data, it almost attracted all the responsibilities of such a role in relation to the privacy of those in and outside Facebook. Essentially a publisher will be able to capture all the profile data of a FB “Like” button user adding it to their own database. Mark Zuckerberg went so far today as to state that there will be over one billion “Likes” in the first 24 hours – a staggering proposition.
As a result, publisher websites will get more personalized as Shiv Singh of Razorfish explains, but this move is also priming Facebook for the launch of an ad platform just as Twitter did with Promotional Tweets. I aired my concerns about the Twitter platform and the same apply to Facebook. That said, few are better suited to serve as custodians for the well-being of the social ecosystem than its founding architects who have demonstrated both necessary risk-taking and strategeic sensitivity to the demands and tolerance of their communities.
What this means for advertisers and ad agencies is mind boggling. The CRM implications are huge but this does not absolve marketers from the responsibility of deep engagement with consumers rather than defaulting to familiar broadcast practices honed in the days of media monopolies.
Just as our individual experience of the web will become more personalized as an extension of our Facebook profile, so will our impatience with intrusive advertising. So brands and their ad agency partners would do well to demonstrate the same sensitivity as the architects that built these social platforms. It’s important they remember that this is the moment when advertising is being integrated into social networks and not the other way round.
Do you think Facebook will get the balance right? What about ad agencies?