Maybe I am jaded, but I don’t think this will work for Facebook as well as for MySpace. MySpace has a demographic of younger consumers who are more open to peer pressure. This will work for certain types of ads on Myspace: skate and surfboards, music, cosmetics, etc. But Facebook has moved in exactly the opposite direction, going for a more sophisticated and increasingly older audience. As an “adult,” I can’t think of a single brand I would “friend.” Not even BMW or Cartier or Chico’s, or Garnier Fructis, all of which I either use or have used, own or have owned.
I have to say that I disagree with the assertion that this won't work for Facebook AND that it won't work for adults. At SAP, we've done quite a bit of work on attitudinal segmentation. And we know that there are significant segments of both the Mid-market and large enterprise space which are "Risk Averse. " These are organizations that will not select a solution unless peers in comparable organizations are using the solutions. When we "choice modeled" these segments - to find out how we could improve them selecting our offer, we found that, not surprisingly, other colleagues who have used the solutions and willing to refer others to these solutions was a major determinant of to improving likelihood to select the offer.
So for particular segments of the market. and yes, I believe that segment is growing on Facebook, a Trusted Referral is just what the doctor ordered. And it will work better on Facebook than on mySpace for the same reasons that Francine says it won't, because it has an older demographic.
And if “friending” them meant I would have to see their ads, I’d de-friend them even if I like them, because the presence of the ads — not why I go to Facebook — would deter me. I have other places to look at those ads.
I'd say again that these "ads" are referrals, recommendations from trusted "friends" and that advocacy fundamentally changes the model. We need to look at this model with a new lens .