Reading Question – Krisda Krisralam (Neil)

Wow! This article really surprised me. I had no idea that the click-through rates for Facebook ads are actually well below industry averages, especially when I think of just how much revenue Facebook makes from its sponsors! 

The article brings up some great points- “people want to do their own weird, idiosyncratic things (that are not advertiser-friendly or family-friendly) on social-networking sites. They’re generally not looking to shop or bond with brands or otherwise serve as sponges for marketing messages.” For me, this couldn’t be more true. I have never intentionally clicked on a Facebook ad, and when I accidentally have, I close the window right away because I’m scared that the link I clicked will be shown to all my friends, like ‘Neil clicked on ____’. That scares me.

What the article doesn’t mention though is that the Facebook ad’s that appear on our home screens are actually designed around our personal tastes. Facebook gathers that information from our ‘likes’ and engine searches and illuminates the sponsors that it deems are suitable matches for us. What this essentially means (especially for lame people like myself), is that Facebook has created a kind of identity-duality; in that it encourages us to communicate and share our interests with our friends but only the interests that we think our friends will perceive as cool. In spite of all the ads and pages on my Facebook home screen directly relating to me, I would never like or click one because it would be splayed out for all my friends to see.

So my question this week is rather personal: Is there a difference between the ‘you’ you are, and the ‘you’ you want to show to the rest of the world or to your close friends? And how has Facebook, depending on your answer, either juxtaposed or brought closer these identities?

 
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