Here’s my question: what is Facebook? Can you describe it in one sentence? Don’t tell me the company is too big to pin down. Amazon is huge but everyone knows what Amazon is and can do for you. Google is big, but we understand the function and how it’s useful.
Facebook? Not so much.
Here’s an example of two headlines in the news today:
“Facebook Messenger for Windows will shut down on March 3″
“Facebook Messenger Finally Coming To Windows Phone”
Both are correct.
Microsoft told the press at the World Mobile Congress that the Facebook Messenger app would be available for Windows Phones in just a couple of weeks.
People who use Facebook Messenger on their Windows desktop, however, saw a notice saying the desktop version would be shutting down on March 3.
Of course, Facebook just spent 19 billion to buy messaging service WhatsApp so do they really need another messaging service? Oh, and big news on that front, Jan Koum, the CEO of WhatsApp announced that the app will soon have voice capabilities. So. . . basically. . WhatsApp will become a Skype competitor. . .aka . . . a tool to call people. Didn’t we used to call that a phone?
Lastly, for Facebook advertisers, there’s a new dashboard structure in town:
Facebook is adding the “Ad Set” level to the structure to help you better organize your campaigns. You know. . .the way Adwords does it.
Campaigns correspond to each of your advertising objectives, like building brand awareness or driving web traffic. They’re designed to help you optimize and measure your results for each objective across multiple ad sets and ads.
Each campaign can feature multiple ad sets, each of which has its own budget and schedule. You can also organize each ad set to represent audience segments, like people who live near your store. This will help you control the amount you spend on each audience, decide when they will see your ads, and measure their response. The ad delivery system will optimize delivery for the best-performing ad in an ad set.
Within each ad set, you can have multiple ads, each of which can feature different images, links, video or text. You’ll still control the creative, targeting and bidding at the ad level.
Sounds like a plan. But before you rush off to set up a campaign, you might want to read the story of one man’s $600,000 Facebook Ad Disaster. Raaj Kapur Brar says Facebook is charging him for thousands of fraudulent clicks from fake accounts and that their own system for counting clicks is way off. I’ll give Facebook the benefit of the doubt on this one and say it’s easier to find a disgruntled customer than a happy one. But I did learn one very interesting fact after reading the man’s story; Facebook does not allow third-party audits. The custom in the industry is to allow verification from a known third-party such as IAB, the Media Ratings Council or Ernst & Young.
Facebook says no, sorry. Take our word for it or go someplace else. . .and don’t forget to pay the check on your way out.
I used to think that Facebook was on its way to world domination but lately I wonder if their own lack of focus will eventually lead to their demise. I think the former head of MySpace needs to sit down with Zuckerberg to talk about what can happen when you think you’re unstopable.