Start-up investor, Esther Dyson, once remarked that “Facebook is the New Google“. That was back in 2007. 2008 will be the year the term â€œSocial Network Fatigueâ€ will be thrown about more and more as the buzzword du jour. While mid-2007 marked the high point in Facebook mania, we will see heavier scrutiny in social networks for actual monetization models and also as an advertising vehicle.
Already, January has shown some major negative coverage on Social Networks:
- MySpace is Engagement Are Down?
“The average length of time users spend on all of the top three sites is on the slide. Bebo, MySpace and Facebook all took double-digit percentage hits in the last months of 2007.” From the Register.Co.UK
- Google sees issue with Social Network Ads
“We have found that social networking inventory is not monetizing as well as expected.” George Reyes, CFO of Google. From the Financial Times
- Facebook Applications (Widgets) Decrease in Popularity
“All of the top 10 leaderboard applications have seen substantial drops in daily users since peaking in November and December,”
From Read/Write Web
Of course not all negative press on Social Network will pan out to be true (such as the suspect Register article above). However, overall the fickleness of
users people and the notoriously low CTRs for Social Networks will become more and more common talk. And how will this be addressed?
My colleague, William Gaultier, over at e-Stormâ€™s Blog will be writing about how marketers doing Social Networks Ads need to look less at direct CTRs but rather â€œview-through clicksâ€ as a the smarter metrics for success. “View-Through” tracking through cookies allows marketers to correlate between ad impressions with latent clicks, such as users who see an ad on Facebook for an “iPod Cases” website, but visit the website later directly and not through clicking on the ad.