February 11, 2009

I Just Marked All Facebook Ads as Offensive. So Should You.

The world is still looking for a better way to target customers with ads and products they want to actually learn more about. And the world will have to continue looking, if the offerings on Facebook are any indication. On the rare time I am logging in to the site instead of setting up roost on FriendFeed, Twitter or LinkedIn, I am amused to annoyed by the stupid ads that have absolutely nothing to do with anything I would be interested in - from meeting other singles (not single) to losing weight (unless it involves bacon and donuts) and getting my share of the government's stimulus package.

Facebook, like many other sites, is desperate to bridge the gap from traffic to revenue and profits. Usually that entails filling all available non-content space with ads. And often, that means the filtering process on said ads is beyond miserable.

So today, I had enough, and marked all the ads I saw on Facebook as "offensive", as they let you do. But each time I marked one as offensive, a new one popped up. It was a virtual electronic game of whack-a-mole, only it looks like nobody won.

I'm all in favor of seeing ads for things I might be interested in - new tech, sports or political books from Amazon... CDs from artists I like. Apple or TiVo products... you name it. But the run of site crap is just that.

So if you want to send a message about how the ads offend you, if they do, then say so. Facebook will know the difference.

Oh... and I think it was probably a coincidence that Facebook started to go "on maintenance" after my ads feedback. Or was it?