facebook ads

Quit Bitching About Facebook Ads

Warning: Rant follows.

Since Facebook rolled out its mobile timeline ‘pages you may like’ type advertising, I’ve seen a ludicrous number of complaints about it, both on blogs and on my own personal Facebook timeline.

The general gist of the complaints is “I’m leaving Facebook because of these ads. Facebook is selling out.”

Don’t like Facebook ads? Then quit using Facebook!

Let’s just take a look at the numbers here. I blogged over a year ago about Facebook’s phenomenal user and engagement figures. Since then, the numbers are even higher. As of the end of June 2012, Facebook had:

  •  955 million monthly active users!!
  • 552 million active daily users
  • 543 million monthly active users on its mobile products
That means 1 in 7 people on the planet is on Facebook.

Facebook isn’t a Charity

It’s a business! It has to power a website that can support almost 1 billion monthly active users! That’s a mammoth task. As users don’t pay for membership and don’t pay for the facilities and features available to them on the platform, users do not fund it. Advertisers do.

Facebook Users are NOT Customers

In my view, Facebook users are not its customers. They’re its audience. Much like commercial TV channels funded by advertising, Facebook wants to make its service as awesome as possible to attract a bigger audience to pull in more advertising revenue and thus to continue that cycle.

Yes, Facebook wants to keep and grow its user base and keep it happy. But it can’t do that off the back of fresh air.

Ads Hurt Nobody

facebook ads

I’m not speaking as a marketer here. I’m speaking as a user. Who on Earth do the ads hurt? What do they do that’s so offensive? They pay for Facebook’s running in order that its 955 million users don’t have to pay for membership.

Just to clear this up for those whose response to Facebook ads is one of utter terror, Facebook ads will not:

  • Murder your babies
  • Rape your pet dog
  • Urinate in your living room
  • Infect you with some sort of incurable virus
  • Break your legs
  • Steal your soul
  • Sell your personal information to aliens

They’re just ads, just like the ads that harmlessly plague a ton of your favourite TV shows.

So get over it. And if you don’t like it, find an alternative to Facebook.