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Facebook, Inc. (FB) Message Board

  • igorzivago igorzivago Jan 21, 2013 11:31 AM Flag

    Facebook Graph Search Runs On Likes That Advertisers Have Already Paid For

    Of all the stories I have read about Facebook‘s new Graph Search in preparation for my assessment of its potentials and pitfalls, I missed perhaps the best one. Jim Edwards at Business Insider posted the clearest description of Facebook’s motivations for the new feature on the day of the announcement. I have often found BI’s coverage to be sensationalist and not completely reliable, but Edwards’ coverage of Facebook has been spot on.

    The contention of the story, that “Facebook’s ‘Graph Search’ Is Really A Plan To Rescue The ‘Like,’” gets right at the immediate utility of the service’s “third pillar.” Simply put, advertisers have spent a tremendous amount of money on campaigns to build their “Likes,” but have become disenchanted with the resulting ROI. Because the search function relies so heavily on Likes to fuel its recommendations, it becomes a way of justifying past money spent and continuing campaigns going forward.That Facebook is inferring Likes from the sharing of links, and, on top of that, not applying sentiment analysis to determine if those links are being shared for positive reasons, breaks these expectations. By definition, there is nothing to prevent a single user (or bot) from adding multiple Likes to a brand through the sharing of links. And there is no assurance that “automated” Likes truly represent how a user feels about a brand. All of this means that as easy as they are to acquire, Likes are a debased currency.

    If Edwards’ analysis is correct, and I think it is, Facebook is trying to makeup for the debasing of the currency by, in effect, printing more money!

 
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