FACEBOOK BOMBSHELL – How DID EVERYONE miss this! #facebook #f8

By April 21, 2010 General 106 Comments

At 24.17 minutes into the presentation. I let out a

“You’ve GOT to be F#$#$#$#$ kidding me”

So I rewound it.

No – they’re not kidding.

My little marketers heart leapt with joy.

First, A question.

“When was the last time you updated your Facebook Profile”

NO NO NO NO – not status updates, or photos or Farmville.

Your ACTUAL profile – you know your favourite movies, books, likes, hobbies etc

Yes – you’ve done this – you’ve probably forgotten about it, I mean with all those fields to tend in Farmville.

You see, most people did this when they joined up and have not updated it since.

I know I haven’t in ages – (I haven’t added in Justin Beiber for example in my favourite artists section… KIDDING!)

Next question (sorry I’m making you work hard but trust me – it’s worth it)

“How does Facebook make their cash?

Hint, it’s exactly the same way that google does…

Pay per click advertising.

But it’s VERY different pay per click advertising.

It’s not based on a phrase that you type ala Google

Facebook PPC based on your demographics, your likes, your favourite movie…

You know – the data you’ve not updated SINCE YOU JOINED!!!!!!

(Are you smelling the coffee…..)

So today, Facebook announce, with the addition of a single line of code, you can “like” a news story, a movie on imdb, a music track on pandora…

IN AN ACT OF SHEER PSYCHOLOGICAL BRILLIANCE – the little line of code puts up a little picture of YOUR friends who’ve also “liked” that thing on the web. Robert Cialdini (author of Influence, the definitive guide to decision making triggers) must have weeped with joy at the social engineering (Note – I love this, I’m not sure others will…)

Facebook point out – liking something up untill today or tweeting or foursquaring was a temporary blip, if your friends happened to log in the last three hours they MIGHT have seen it. Let’s face it, if you tweeted it’s a crapshoot on a numbers basis if your friends actually see anything.

(Stay with me – this story has a FREIGHT train ending)

So when you click the new “Like” Facebook button, being very helpful and all, Facebook will update your permanent profile with your new like.

WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HEEEEEEEELLLLLLLOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THEY UPDATE YOUR PROFILE (your news feed to – but forget that -as of today it’s irrelevant) – the PROFILE of your LIKES!

To Quote myself…

“You know – the data you’ve not updated SINCE YOU JOINED!!!!!!”

The same data facebook and people like me use to TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC PAY PER CLICK ADVERTISING ON FACEBOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FRESH UP-TO-DATE DATA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is a smart marketers wet dream. Seriously it’s the marketing equivalent of Hedi Klum walking into my study right now and saying (In that awesome German tingend English) “you know vhat tubby balding short guys are… now…in – let’s get bos….”

If Facebook implement as described, marketers will have completely up-to-date data to craft their advertisements.

I’m a marketer and proud of it. This is brilliant, I want to give you a directly targeted marketing experience. With fresh demographic data based on likes -I can do that. SWEEEET.

(SIDE NOTE – This also drops Facebook in the middle of the local advertising game – you YELP, you update your facebook PROFILE automatically, I can then create an Ad based on the fact that you “liked” KFC Β -someone pinch me, I’m still in the dream with Hedi)

People are going to freak out about this and it’s a shame – Facebook does not expose YOUR data specifically – only people who you’ve given permission to as a friend will actually see your profile and I can see this being fantastic way of really keeping in touch – how many of my friends liked “Hurt Locker” for example – that’s the next step of Facebooks evolution, it makes sense. The lads at Facebook GET this.

BUT if “likes” gets significant take up – they may just rival google and perhaps be even more influential. Google knows about phrases, Facebook knows about you…


Really appreciate you retweeting this if you found it thought-provoking…


  • Wow, Ed!!! Thanks for bringing the awesome once again! This post has given me tons of ideas – I love the way you think!

    Heidi Klum is missing out πŸ˜‰

  • Elke says:

    Hey Ed, thanks for the information, this is a truly interesting opportunity

  • sallycev says:

    Yes, Ed
    I did find it thought provoking indeed! I have tried to keep my personal FB account just that, personal. However I'm thinking I should start a separate one for my IM biz. Looks like I had better get on it.

    I have not done any marketing/advertising on FB yet but hope that as mentioned below people can have the option to X it out and not continue to get the same annoying ads over and over! Not good for the viewer or the advertiser.

    I do think it has its place though, especially if it is super targeted.

    Have a great one.

  • Facebook is quickly coming into its own. I knew about their rising power but have been a bit lazy on moving to action. I better get on it. Thanks for the tip.

  • Ed this is the reason why Google openly said the only company it FEARS is Facebook.

    Some of Facebook type their like as a rambling line of text, If the user uses commas between each item they are picked up as key phrases. So the market is wide open Facebook hold the best demographics imaginable!

  • Don says:

    Unfortunately, this means I will probably stop interacting with Facebook. I “like” people's comments and I previously would fan a friends page, but now I will be thinking twice about interacting because it will be reflected on my “permanent record” as it were.

    I don't want to be targeted based on something I did on a whim.

    So, my natural reaction will be to stop affirming things unless I am passionate about them.

  • Interesting. My mind is spinning and I am not sure what direction it will stop in. Have to think about this one! Thanks.


  • Danette says:

    Thanks for the informative post – I'll b keeping a closer eye on all the happenings over at Facebook and guess I'll finally implement the advertising plan on FB rather than Google.

  • alexchan338 says:

    Facebook has way more revenue streams than what google has. FB with apps eventually will take over Google, when every businesses come up with their own business app, and rely less on big G's ppc. This is only one of many FB's weapons, as FB has many other deadly weapons. G wont die off, but FB will definitely take over relatively soon.

  • P.W. Fenton says:

    There's another twist. Those things that you “like” that are in your profile. Well those are no longer just words. Facebook changes them automatically to memberships in FAN PAGES… without your knowledge or permission… and those fan pages get access to all your data… just like the friends you actually chose.

  • I wanted to “like” this with facebook, but I did not see the button.

    The irony in your P.S. statement made me chuckle… only a little bit πŸ˜‰

    good article, though.

  • John Counsel says:

    Let me play the crusty old curmudgeon here…

    Question: How do you know when a strategy enters the decay phase of its life cycle?
    Answer: When the ebooks, videos and home study courses promoting it appear. (The authors have already mined the main lode or seam. Now they're selling you the tools to fossick in the tailings dumps.)

    So now, having turned Twitter into indecipherable clutter, drowning in automated tweets and retweets, we're about to do the same to Facebook? Ah… but how will FB accommodate all those clamoring advertisers? The screen share is strictly limited — or will that ad space increase exponentially? Even so, it's limited. Where Google at least has every SERP and content network page on which to place ads, Facebook has… well… Facebook. And Facebook pages are already producing two predictable developments:

    1. Ad blindness.

    2. Disabling of ads by users.

    What normally happens to scarce real estate?

    Can anyone say p-r-i-c-e-h-i-k-e-c-o-m-i-n-g-v-e-r-y-s-o-o-n?

    Or space/demographic slot auctions?

    Or will the regular consumers suddenly drown, or by swept away, by all that Internet marketer drooool?

    Food for thought.

  • bobberwyn says:

    Too many caps, otherwise would retweet.

  • bobberwyn says:

    Too many caps, I feel like you're getting in my face(book) :)

  • Ed – First of all “Seal” is looking you up and on his way to defend Hedi's honor… nice know'n ya!

    To the business at hand – WOW! This is brilliant and has massive implications for the marketers who get this… I do! Facebook has made a couple of significant moves this week, there have no doubt been some late nights on campus and more is to come. Well, competition is a good thing – right?

    So the stage is set for the battle over the Internet and the clear favorites Google and Facebook have taken off the gloves and the good news is as marketers, we will surely benefit and as ethical marketers, so will our customers. Love it!


  • Wow, I've heard of the new like feature, but never gave it a second thought. Brilliant!

    Ana Hoffman/YourNetBiz

  • I might be a bit dim here, but this isn't working for me.

    I went to the IMDB and “liked” the film “It's a Wonderful Life.” An entry now shows up in my Wall saying “Michael likes It's a Wonderful Life (1946) on IMDb.” However, the Likes and Interests section (specifically Movies) did not update in my Profile. If I'm understanding you correctly, that's what is supposed to happen automagically, right?

    Am I doing something wrong?

  • jp moses says:

    Brilliant! Mind blowing! Game changing! Thanks for grabbing my brain and giving it a good shake just now, Ed – I needed it! And thanks for posting sheer awesomeness.

    …jp moses

  • drmichaelhaley says:

    Sounds great and all, but my experience with facebook advertising is my number of clicks and costs associated with them went from many impressions with no clicks to about the same impressions with a lot more clicks – but zero conversions. What have they done to drive up the clicks to increase their profits? BTW, in this case, I was not too interested in clicks anyway, as much as name recognition.

  • Gail says:

    And this is just the tip of the iceberg. From what I've read, facebook is planning to roll out the LIKE button across the web, so not only will it be tracking the pages you Like inside of Facebook, but web pages outside of the FB site.

    The other big Facebook announcement the other day is how they're going to automatically link your profile information to their new Community Pages function they just made live.

  • kazimierz says:

    Yes… this is one perspective as well as Facebook has just added the “I” to FB to make FBI – http://bit.ly/clXI66

  • Ed-

    So appreciate the passion with which you delivered this post, almost as great as your first date with the iPad! It is exciting times we live in. With the animosity toward Google's adwords, (not to mention it's complexity), this is a great time to provide advertisers an alternative.

    That said, how do you think Google will respond? A fresh announcement about personalized or social search? Other ideas?

  • Basia says:

    Sounds great. Now all we have to do is learn how to do advertising with Facebook. It is very different from Googls Ads.

  • yhurg says:

    Thanks for the informative explanation Ed. I had not considered this information being used all this time to target ads.

    In the grand scheme of things, this is relatively small news. There isn't much new about the practice and clearly Facebook has been doing it. They are only enhancing the product.

  • Ed you do make learning FUN! : )

  • steveosullivan says:

    Hey Ed, Hedi Klum and marketing nirvana in one post, just awesome(ness). I did see this feature but didn't get the implications until you pointed them out here. I can always count on you! Thanks.

  • MMMomma says:

    I like it, I will miss people being fans but if this works better for marketers then I will learn to “like” it.

  • Rich says:

    Nice, Ed. This sounds incredibly smart on behalf of FB, and perhaps also incrediby similar to a lot of FB “under the radar privacy invasions” that we've seen previously.

    Anyone who considers facebook to hold “private” information is an idiot.

    Still, good for marketers, like you say :)

  • johnarleth says:

    Just in case anybody reads this, what is the line of code and how do I insert it?

  • johnarleth says:

    What is the line of code and how do I install it?

  • Zed Shah says:

    I love Facebook …maybe not as much as Heidi Klum but near enough

  • aempirei says:


  • Johnny says:

    The video don't work, it doesn't play.

  • Ron says:

    On the marketing side this awesome to have such information, but Facebook adding what I like to MY PROFILE is BS. Say I need a new monitor, I find one and buy it. I then like it to let my friends know I like it. Done. End of story? No. Now I start getting a bunch of ads for monitors because Facebook added it to my profile. It WAS A ONE TIME SHOT. I don't need any more monitors and I don't need it added to my profile. Thats the FAIL.

    • eddale says:

      I agree that would suck…. but it would be dumb marketing and it won't work like that .

      Each page on your site has a series of meta tags – an individual sale would not be adds to your profile – but perhaps the brand would be.

      The type of monitor you bought does say quiet a bit about you – was it a cheap dell, a top of the line Apple twenty four inch…. Each tells a story.

      Sent from my Awesome iPad

      • Ron says:

        Agreed that maybe the type of (in this example monitor) may say something about me, but my point is If I click the “Like” button to let my friends know I liked it does not mean I have an ongoing interest in monitors or even more computer stuff or the brand. It was a one time share with my friends and facebook should not take it upon themselves to add it to my profile as if I have a passion or interest in it/that. A persons profile is something that only that individual should have rights to manage.

        • eddale says:

          And I suppose the good news is you do have complete control over that.

          • Ron says:

            Sadly enough no. Just as many things in our lives are now decided for us whether we like it or not.
            Doesn't mean I have bury my head in the sand though and agree with it and I would only assume you have issues at times along the same lines. So we get up, put on our pants, and play our cards each day to make it work. Facebook just another one of those entities of power making our decisions and we each will have to deal with it. Guru Bob says it best … It is what it is πŸ˜‰

  • Gail says:

    It does suck for consumers who will have their demographics and interests squeezed out of them and sold to the highest bidder whether they like it or not, but good for online marketers. But remember, Facebook is free (in a monetary sense) and you're paying for all of that functionality you get with your treasured profile information.

    Many Facebook users won't even realize what's going on, and many of the ones who do, will be pissed and feel taken advantage of.

    It might be a good idea if Facebook would crunch some numbers and come up with a reasonable monthly subscription amount that would allow a user's profile data to NOT be included in their advertising database. So, if you want, you can opt-out of the advertising database and still be allowed to use the Facebook service, or, you can choose to continue to use the free Facebook service, but you'll pay for it with your profile data being anonymously offered up to advertisers.

  • Mike Carlson says:

    Ed, in this article, towards the end it says

    “Another potential side effect: The web you see is the web your friends like.

    Without some effort, you might end up browsing based on your friends preferences, rather than exploring new territory. Your activity can influence them, too.”

    Huge implications! I'm hoping to see more on this ::hint hint:: :)


    article: http://edition.cnn.com/2010/TECH/04/21/facebook

  • Ed, as usual…useful and valuable information. Where is the “code?”
    Great webinar John Reese last night.

  • MCatherine says:

    Like everything else, FB gets you hooked up with old/new friends and let's you 'free' promote your biz, then it's bona be PAY UP time! Who is going to have the moxie to let all those contacts we have so painstakingly built disolve into oblivion? HERE

  • Dale not sure how many have missed this I know we haven't. In the end this is just a lot of nonsensical behavioral demographic data you can't rely on until you have built a model to make sense of it all.

    A lot of good points made in here about how long this behavioral data remains relevant. Anyone's guess, and that is what it is a guess. Behavioral data tends to be very time sensitive, and what I like today I may not like tomorrow.

    Like is a very general thing, case in point overall I like this post there are some things about it I don't. To string together an accurate behavioral demographic based on ONE word “Like” you are going to need a big statistics engine and a whole lot a “Like's” on me.

    Which brings me to another point, Really how often and what percentage of the Facebook commuinty clicks “Like”. I haven't seen any stats on that so it is hard to say if there is a large enough body of the community to make this even a viable means of targeting.

    In the end… another attempt by Facebook to leverage information about thier community when they should be focused on how they can empower their community and help marketers leverage that empowerment instead of vague targeting.

    Just my thoughts