Devil’s Advocate on Facebook Advertising

Let's be clear: I have not ever paid for any type of advertising on Facebook. So, there are many people who probably have better insight on this than I ever will. That said, I ran across an interesting comment on an article about the "New MySpace".

What also makes this new venture interesting is that many bands (particularly the smaller ones who rely on exposure to their fans) are more than a little fed up with Facebook's throttling of their audience. Anyone with a Page on Facebook (whether band, fan or other) will have seen for a few month snow that anything they post will only "reach" (ie, appear on the timeline of someone who has opted to read your posts by Liking that Page) about 20-50% of their audience. Want to reach more? Then they have to "promote" their post by paying to reach more people, or begging those who do read their posts to spread them around for them – which is why Facebook is such a dreadfully spammy place to be right now.

From my perspective, I haven't thought about EdgeRank like this before. My viewpoint of EdgeRank has been that it "forces" marketers to create high-quality and engaging content. If the content is not engaging or relevant to the brand's fans, then that content will not be seen in a fan's News Feed. Makes sense to me.

Now what "FiniteMonkey" said in his above comment takes the glass-half-empty viewpoint. EdgeRank works this way to "force" marketers not to create engaging content, but to "force" marketers to buy sponsored posts and other paid media on Facebook. Smart perspective. I'm definitely not saying that I disagree with the perspective. In fact, I think it's naive to think that Facebook doesn't believe this is the case at some level.

To apply this argument to MySpace is also interesting.

Though it's been largely replaced by newer social networks, Myspace has managed to stay afloat thanks to the constant stream of musicians on the site, who still use it as a marketing platform.

A marketing platform. Exactly what Facebook is trying to become to make money, while avoiding becoming a marketing platform to avoid losing its main product: the user.

So from a brand / marketer / business perspective, maybe the new MySpace will have an easier time to monetize social media than Facebook has had as of late. The question on everyone's mind, though, is will there be anyone listening?