moTi - 7:11 pm on Jan 7, 2011 (gmt 0)
thing is, you can target as precisely as it gets, read user data, know his behavior and buying intentions. but if you don't reach him at the right moment, it's all pointless.
when is the right moment? answer: when the user wants it.
with a search engine like google, you get the best targeting money can buy so far. why? because the user is in active buying mode. he decides when the advertiser is allowed to present his products or services to him. no other marketing strategy can beat that.
facebook is push marketing. interrupt conversations of users in entertainment mode. it's old marketing. as long as they don't come up with something overwhelmingly better, their conversion rates will stay at the bottom. so they need a brand new revenue model to satisfy the massive expectations.
the whole valuation thing is a bet or a hope that facebook will invent something as revolutionary as a search engine combined with adwords. at the same time, it must be something that is tailor-made to the requirements of their community.
what does facebook differentiate from other social networks who have been around for years trying things out? the only thing that comes to my mind is: they have a bigger user base - so they have economies of scale. but why that alone should suffice to make them more innovative than any other company in the world when it comes to finding new ways to earn money is beyond me. why should that be facebook of all things?