I posted a link on the AMWSO Facebook page suggesting that the majority of clicks on Facebook ads were being generated by bots. The comment thread got me really thinking about Facebook being a viable advertising platform.
First, let's take on the proposition made by the linked story we were discussing. The claim is that a vast majority of clicks to Facebook ads are being generated by bots. IF True there are a couple implications to consider:
In either of the above cases, it is wholly Facebook's responsibility to take action and correct this situation. Of course again, that is if the ad clicks are indeed being generated mostly by bots. Interestingly, in various discussions about this story, there wasn't a great deal of surprise at the figure. Why?
Well, let's consider the platform of Facebook. As Nancy suggested on our Facebook comment thread, people don't come to Facebook to shop…or even really search for things. They come to socialize, see what their friends are up to, look at pictures friends are posting and to play games. Of course Google, where people are coming to specifically search for something (often times a solution/product), should perform better directly as an ad platform. That is where an ad can generate an immediate and measurable result.
That being said, immediate measurable results still haven't stopped companies from advertising on TV during shows, sporting events, billboards, subway tunnels, and all manner of things. People aren't searching specifically for a solution in those circumstances either. But they get an image/idea planted in a person's head, and hope that the idea will be followed up on or acted upon later.
I would suggest Facebook can be a bit in-between both of these concepts. Some people will see an ad, spark an immediate interest and click through and onward for some action. Also, ideas might get planted to be acted upon later. However I can see some immediate difficulties for Facebook as it stands now.
The Future Potential for Facebook Ad Interest
All this being said, I don't think display ads on the Facebook site will be of any consequence in the future. I see the future is all about mobile and location. Imagine:
Facebook right now has the critical mass of people to do well in this space. They just have to keep those people engaged to Facebook until the future arrives.