weeks - 3:52 pm on Jan 7, 2011 (gmt 0)
I remember this argument back in '01. "Google is amazing but how will it ever make money?"
I remember that as well and the point is well taken.
But the contextual search you're talking about with Facebook has been tried before by dozens of people (including me).
Here is what everyone who has tried it sees: People do find the linking in context interesting and entertaining, but it's often not useful. Context does have value, but not as much as suggested by the numbers we've seen.
My bias comes from the data. For example, the low click rate on Adsense on general interest websites such as newspapers.
On the FB pages of others I've viewed, there is not enough context for people with money to spend on high value, high margin products and services.
"Google personalised x1000" sounds great. I think that's as a good description as I have seen. We agree on that.
But I don't think it makes big money. Not only are there are only x number of ad dollars to be had, but there is only so much time and energy people can spend on targeting. There is a point where there is a rapidly diminishing return in targeting. (Also, people are lazy.)
FB is going to have to take the marketing money from someone else. Who will that be? FB got to be both better and easier than what marketers are using now. I worry that Facebook will be neither be better nor will it be easier.