Facebook “Places” Bet On New Breed of Social Media Marketing
ABC Clothing has signed a deal with Facebook, and Facebook has a googol of users who have opted-in to the Places app, which tracks where users are and where they are visiting. As users who have opted-in visit ABC Clothing, the store’s advertising module shows up on friends’ pages with a little note: “Your friend, George Smith, was just here. Visit ABC Clothing on Main Street.”
Of course, the privacy concerns are worrisome, and Google is scrambling to figure out how their Google Labs will be able to catch up quickly to the very innovating set of code that makes the Facebook Places application possible. The greatest innovation, however, is in the effort to convert that sale. What mad scientist at Facebook conceived this idea? And may I shake his hand?
Personally, I opted out of Facebook Places; I’m not interested in having you or any of my friends know my whereabouts 24/7. I’m especially not interested in my enemies knowing where I am 24/7. But the Facebook Places app is a game-changer, to be sure.
Let’s put it this way, CNBC has been tracking tech very heavily in the past week; their analysts suggest Google could outspend Facebook on development any day of the week. While that is true, the minds that are at work at FB are clearly a bit more cutting-edge than those at Google. Then there is Microsoft, which is quickly becoming the step-child of cutting edge technology, at least at the consumer level. The following CNBC video should put things in perspective a bit more.
All things being equal, Facebook and Google have certainly very different long-term business plans; therefore, they each serve online needs in a different way. Also, keep this in mind: when one analyst mentioned more people do a search on Google than are actually signed up to FB, that is not exactly true. In fact, according to Quantcast, the traffic to Google is about 160-million visits, which is below the more than 500 million active users of Facebook.
However the total number of actual visits to Google and FB is nearly neck-and-neck, and it is this kind of traffic analysis that seems lost on those so-called Wall Street experts. Of course, these are the same gurus who missed the boat on domain names and web entirely; but that is another debate.