Any social network has to find a way to be profitable if it intends to keep shareholders and investors happy. Pinterest is working hard to integrate its advertising carefully, and in the face of possible ad-threshold, so is Facebook.
Aside from the direct marketing of in stream ads Facebook already set up to deliver a lot of advertising through company run pages. With the ability to select and cultivate which advertising and marketing you see, why would anyone want to see in stream ads? This is the fine line that Facebook must walk if it hopes to keep up its track record.
According to AdWeek, Mark Zuckerberg has publicly that the current strategy is working and there has never been a “meaningful drop in satisfaction.” Still, Facebook is cautious about the overload; sponsored posts have been capped at 1 in 20. Ad revenue is still on the rise for Facebook to the tune of 66 percent year over year. The worry with ad fatigue is not just money. Too many ads could be driving away younger users.
Marketers could move on to less crowded platforms like Tumblr or Pinterest, but the problem would likely follow. Delivering advertising is a tricky business whether its in the face of ad fatigue or the growing use of Adblock.
Indeed, Facebook has its own specific adblock to worry about as well. F.B. Purity is a browser extension that allows users to strip out ads, and block the kinds of stories they don’t want to see. With a growing desire from users to control their experience, Facebook has to be very careful while trying to remain profitable.
Image credit: Sean MacEntee