Facebook wants your money and, as they have already said they will not charge a membership fee, they have to make money somehow. Since going public, the biggest and most popular social networking site has been pushed by its investors to make money. Back in February, CEO and founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg said “Simply put: we don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services.” 8 months on, with stock process going up and down like a yo-yo, things have changed. It has now been revealed that every single team working for Facebook has to come up with ways of making money for their products.
Over the last 12 months users have seen many changes to Facebook, some of which have been accepted, others that have been heavily criticised and have had to be, if not abandoned altogether, at least put on hold. As far as investors are concerned, the more money they can make the better, regardless of whether you want to pay it or not. Right now, each Facebook user is worth around $5 per year to the company and they want more from you.
Expect to see next year continue in the same vein as this one, with more changes appearing as they try out new methods of making money from you. Here are some of the ways they have tried and may be trying next year:
- Sponsored Stories : Sponsored stories in news streams became a reality this year, turning you into an unpaid brand-promoter. Ads are placed in users news feeds in order to try to generate a high click-through rate. This has generated in the region of $1 million per day for Facebook. However, earlier this year a class-action lawsuit has been brought against Facebook by users who strongly objected to having their names and pictures used in these ads.
- Mobile Ads : Mobile ads have started to appear in the Facebook App on users’ newsfeeds, generating a massive $139, million in the third quarter alone and now making around $3 million per day.
- Mobile ads have also started to appear in third-party apps so, even when you are not actually on Facebook they are still using you as a cash cow. In effect, they have given permission to some websites to use your information. This has been put on hold for now but it hasn’t been abandoned and could be seen again in the future.
- Post promotions : Promoted posts have arrived on Facebook. With the sheer number of users on any given day tree are an untold number of posts appearing, meaning yours can get lost. Facebook have decided to allow you to promote you posts but you will have to pay $7 for the privilege. This is a one-off fee though.
- Facebook Gifts were tried a couple of years ago and they failed miserably. However, you may have noticed a lot of prompting to purchase gifts for your friends for birthdays and anniversaries, or any other special occasion. This is because Facebook have decided to try to co-ere you into purchasing their gifts to boost their per-head profits.
- Paid messages : Paid messages are a controversial new option that Facebook have introduced. They say it’s to combat the amount of spam messages floating around, but for the sum of $1, complete strangers can now send messages to your inbox. And this isn’t per message – that $1 allows unlimited messages to be sent until you report them as spam.
- Video Ads : The final thought of the future is video ads. It appears that Facebook are in talks with several advertisers to allow them to place short ads on your news feeds. The ads will be 15 seconds long and you won’t get the choice of playing them or not – they will be on auto play and will play as soon as you open up the page.
Source : Mashable