Facebook ads and comments largely useless

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll has revealed that as many as four out of five Facebook users have never bought a product or used a service advertised on the social not-working site. 

The survey basically seems to state the obvious. People are not using Facebook to shop for products or services, or get informed. They are simply killing time. Another phenomenon was also revealed: Facebook fatigue. Some 34 percent of Facebook users admitted to spending, or should we say wasting less time on Facebook than six months ago.

Facebook’s controversial IPO did not go down well with its users either, as 44 percent said it made them less favorable toward the social network, according to Reuters.

All this does not bode well for Facebook as it struggles to figure out how to translate its vast user base into actual profits. People are not spending on Facebook. They don’t care about ads or comments, and the company has yet to come up with a revenue generating model in the mobile space.

What’s more, growth is slowing down and it has to, similar to mobile phone penetration in the developed world in the late nineties.

There are simply not enough people to go around and the next 900 million Facebook users will not be Americans or Europeans, they will be from the third world, so good luck selling them a Camaro. Facebook declined to comment on the report, but it pointed to previous reports which found that Facebook ad campaigns were successful in the past. 

After the IPO, Facebook’s business model came under a lot more scrutiny, although it would have been a good idea to scrutinise it before small investors started pouring their retirement savings in FB stock, in the hope that they are investing in the next Google or Apple.

The notion that the company would eventually cash in on what basically amounts to the biggest data mining operation in the world seems to be wearing off.

Targeted ads sound like a good idea on paper, but they can also backfire, as users are not that keen to see personalised ads on their page, sometimes with awkward or downright embarrassing content. It is a tricky balancing act between delivering proper targeted advertising and bad taste, and so far Facebook does not appear to be making it work.