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Facebook 'likes' and adverts' value doubted

Facebook: yes! keep giving us $!

6:16 am on Jul 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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The BBC has an interesting article on the purchasing of FB Likes:

A BBC investigation suggests companies are wasting large sums of money on adverts to gain "likes" from Facebook members who have no real interest in their products.

It also appears many account holders who click on the links have lied about their personal details.

A security expert has said some of the profiles appeared to be "fakes" run by computer programs to spread spam.

Facebook said it had "not seen evidence of a significant problem".

There probably isn't much that is new to people here, but it is worthwhile nonetheless.

There are multiple sections to the article, see the tabs at the top.

[edited by: engine at 4:29 pm (utc) on Jul 13, 2012]
[edit reason] added quote [/edit]

6:19 pm on July 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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The only surprise here is that the author managed to get this past the BBCs editorial process. Rory Cellan-Jones has published five pieces on this subject but has (to my knowledge) never written a piece that questions the integrity of other advertising, such as Adwords. It seems Mr Cellan-Jones hasn't written anything positive about Facebook since the share prices bombed.
6:28 pm on July 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I read this one the other day.

It's interesting that they put a figure on the number of 'fake' people/profiles. At 5-6%, that's 1 in 20.

Add in the undetected lot and it's surely closer to 1 in 10.
7:17 pm on July 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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The headline on the front page featured link is a little misleading. I don't happen to think that paid (or otherwise incentivized) Facebook Likes have much value either. In fact, I've only recently realized how much money one can save by maintaining fake FB and Twitter profiles just to like and follow companies to get free stuff and discounts. That holds a lot of value for ME, but for the companies, probably not so much, because I wouldn't share from those accounts.

But real FB Likes definitely have value. At least, mine do to me.
8:23 pm on July 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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One interesting thing about this 'revelation' is that it's part of a trend of articles about aspects of the web which the average user probably hadn't previously considered appearing in the mainstream press. Public awareness must be in most peoples' interest.

FB would be better with a subscription model. It's a useful tool - I like e-mail and parish news only from friends and family, without spam - but I really wonder if they can 'make it big' it with ads without alienating users, and not weeding out fake accounts isn't going to help either.
3:45 am on July 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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There are many people on Fiverr offering to get you hundreds of likes within 2 days.
I wonder how many of those area real ?
8:24 am on July 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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As Netmeg says.. authentic FB likes add value to my e comm site and bring in traffic and customers. A true LIKE works in the form of a recommendation and helps in conversions. A fake Like just for manipulation of user intent is cr*p value and is effecively cheating your customers which degrades the site over the long term. I am truly happy with limited likes that add value and gets my site mentioned in various forums/ blogs versus thousands of Likes which are just to manipulate..
10:21 am on July 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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The issue the BBC is focusing on is not the buying of Likes (clearly fraudulent), nor whether genuine Likes are worthwhile (fairly clearly they are).

The issue is the value of *advertising seeking Likes*.

They are pointing out that, for some reason, such advertising attracts a lot of clearly disingenuous Likes.

Does anyone have stories of having bought advertising on Facebook with the aim of building Likes?
11:32 pm on July 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Not FB, but YT. Saw one of those "viral" videos about six months ago, was a car, can't even remember which one (their advertising/marketing clearly worked wonders on me!) and at the time I saw it, the video had 24,000 YT likes, more or less....and about 1700 views. Quite a few of the early comments were of the type "why are you inventing likes?" or "24k likes from 1000 views...people must REALLY like this video!"

they clearly had jumped the gun on buying in their YT likes. People don't like to know something is being gamed like that and it could backfire. It's just dishonest and shows a lack of respect for the systems, be it FB, YT or whatever, they are using to promote their goods.
10:40 am on July 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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It isn't the same Chanandler... the BBC is criticizing the value of advertising on FB, not the direct purchasing of obviously fraudulent Likes.
6:01 pm on July 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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On contrary, adding to above news, I have closely monitored some brands in few categories on facebook, which are leading (top ahead) in likes for past few years, despite of many big giants/competitors coming in.
The likes of some brands in those categories always keep increasing ahead of competition, whatsoever the reason is.