Posted October 29, 2008 4:23 pm by with 12 comments

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Social network advertising is not only not annoying but surprisingly effective in some segments, according to the results of a new survey by Razorfish. In FEED: the Razorfish Consumer Experience Report 2008, Razorfish surveyed “connected consumers”—1006 people with broadband access who spent at least $200 online in the past year, used a community site such as MySpace and consumed or made some type of digital media including videos and music.

And of those people, 76% didn’t mind seeing ads when they logged in to social media sites including Facebook and MySpace. This percentage is surprisingly large, perhaps so much so that this response is what prompted Razorfish to conclude:

Content, in our view, will become advertising.

Well, I suppose that’s a better outlook than advertising will become content.

The Razorfish study also found that, according to ClickZ:

In the report the agency explains it was surprised to find 91 percent of respondents use Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL, and as their Internet homepages. Over 60 percent of these people have customized their homepages with content feeds and widgets. The report notes 55 percent said they use widgets with some frequency and 62 percent use them on sites such as Facebook and iGoogle.

The researchers found that, while those who view online videos don’t mind the presence of advertising, they prefer banners and “newer, emerging forms of video” ads including tickers and interstitials to pre-roll video ads.

If, as Razorfish predicts, content and advertising will merge, some brands are already gearing up for that. 32% of online retailers based in the US have a presence on Facebook, 27% on MySpace and 26% on YouTube, according to a study by Internet Retailer and Vovici (via).

As of September, in a study of 100 brands by Rosetta, 59 had Facebook Pages, too. While this advent may be indicative of the merging of content and advertising, Adam Cohen, partner with Rosetta’s consumer goods and retail practice cautioned:

It’s important that retailers don’t just slap up a page because everyone is talking about Facebook. An effective presence requires that you carefully consider what your customers are looking for, what you would like to communicate, and what role a fan page should play in your overall online strategy.

What do you think—will content be the new advertising? And how can a Facebook Page play into that?

  • What about ages?
    I find it obvious that the 12 years punks spending time on MySpace are not disturbed by the half naked women ads 🙂

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  • OK, so survey respondents “didn’t mind seeing ads”; but how does that speak to how effective those ads are? I don’t mind seeing a few ads while I’m on Facebook, but it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to click on them.

    If you’re talking about a company creating a Facebook app or fan page with interactive, engaging content, then yes it can certainly be effective in the sense that the marketing message will be absorbed and an action will be taken.

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  • Archarugen

    An “official poll” suddenly appeared on all Facebook users’ home page mini-feed today asking this question:

    “Do you mind seeing ads on Facebook?”

    75% said yes, THEY DID MIND.
    24% said no.

    Either someone’s getting their numbers mixed up, or Facebook’s official poll just showed how Facebook users really feel about its ads.

  • B2C ads would work best in this arena. I can’t see social networking sites as a viable option for B2B firms.

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  • If it’s either a) put up with advertising, or b) pay for previously free sites, I’ll pick (a) any day of the week.

  • Excellent post Jordan. At Buddy Media we believe the branded application, indeed a form of web content, will be the new ad unit. While a fan page is a great and free way for brands to establish a presence on Facebook, apps can actually augment the page and provide engaging entertainment that consumers expect in this social environment–and ultimately drive social brand loyalty. In fact, the data we’ve seen from our BuddyBrain analytics tool, which tracks our branded app-vertisements, shows that users spent an average of 2 minutes, 35 seconds interacting with a branded application. This engagement is 75x’s greater than the time consumers spend interacting with traditional banner ads and 5x’s greater than the time consumers spend interacting with TV ads.

    Michael Lazerow, CEO Buddy Media

  • Good post. Most folks using social media have zero clue on how to use it appropriately to say the least.

  • I must be in the minority then.

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  • Switch

    These ads are annoying. While I am watching a video or TV show online I don’t to hear about viagra in the middle of the video. Because of these stupid ads on facebook, myspace, youtube, I have almost stopped using the internet. There are the annoying “Congradulations you have just won a free Ipod Touch” (Which to me says “Congradulations I am never buying and Ipod Touch”)

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