This week Facebook launched Facebook Home, a software app that lets users see their Facebook content including status updates and photos on the home screen. Now that Facebook’s news feed is directly on your phone, does this mean that Advertisements will show up as well?
The Cover Feed
Facebook makes its money off ads, so how do they plan on integrating the ads into this software? Facebook is ahead of the game because most advertisers and marketers know that the home screen on phones and tablets is an untapped market and it has the potential to be extremely lucrative. The first version of Facebook Home won’t have any advertisements (not surprising) but in future versions there will be ads displayed on the ‘Cover Feed’. The Cover Feed will display status updates like a slideshow, along with ads. The Cover Feed scrolls through automatically on your lock screen, so if you pull out your phone the first thing you may see is an ad before you even unlock your phone. This gives Facebook the opportunity now to push ads directly onto its user which are based on what sites you’ve visited and what you’ve bought, giving personalized advertising.
If you download Facebook Home be prepared to have Facebook know your every activity on your mobile device. Since most people don’t log out of Facebook once they’ve logged in, Facebook can see what you’re searching for giving advertisers the opportunity to reach their target market more easily than ever before. You could search for a pair of shoes and then when you go to look at your phone and there’s a huge picture ad for shoes at DSW. Taking a step further is the fact that there’s a potential to use location-based advertising, meaning when you’re walking down the street past a certain store you’ll end up with an ad on your phone about a new deal. This is good for advertisers but is it a benefit to the users?
Targeted advertising can be good for the consumer because instead of having a bunch of random ads you may get some that you can actually benefit from, such as a discount to a store you like, but I’m not convinced that people will be on board for this just yet. The Facebook website is already saturated with ads and most users aren’t happy about it. Those who are unhappy don’t like the fact that their information is being used for advertising, and since the app will use all your information for this purpose, it may be the reason people will be apprehensive to purchase it (probably the reason why they’re waiting to have ads featured). The lack of privacy is another concerns for people, granted, having Facebook doesn’t give you much privacy to begin with. I think in order for Facebook to make this app work, they’re going to have to prove that it is beneficial to the consumers and not just advertisers.
What do you think of Facebook Home? Would you consider buying it?