skibum - 7:20 am on Nov 21, 2010 (gmt 0)
Those stats (and I have no doubt they are at least ballpark accurate) are a great way to build hype and get people to throw investment money at Facebook but by that logic those same investors should start buying up all the wall and floor space in company break rooms and near water coolers for $1000 per square foot with the anticipation that advertisers are going to start spending billions to reach people in these places.
They'll come up with a cost per turn in a conversation, per head nod, hand shake, per chuckle, per mouthful of food or sip of water, per picture shown from a vacation. Unless brand advertisers can come up with a metric or use an existing one (CPM) to justify lofty ad spends, all the activity in the world on FB isn't worth much. That, of course is not out of the question by any stretch of the imagination. When something completely flops in advertising you just come up with a new metric to show that it "works".
Behavioral targeting of banners is one such instance of that. Only show ads to people who have already been to a site (and are therefore more likely to buy anyway) and attribute the sales generated from people who have been exposed to an ad (even if it was at the bottom of the page and the browser may have "seen" the cookie but the person never saw the ad) and all of a sudden you have a meaningless measurement that says you should dump all of your ad dollars into banner advertising! You can fool even the most seasoned "financially smart" CMO when you play with the metrics and measurements!
If all these FB pages views were worth something, then forums would be the most valuable properties on the web and be going public at billion dollar valuations.