If you have never heard of Facebook, then you must have been living under a rock for the last few years. The social media site has over 750 million users worldwide and is only expected to grow. The company has been very successful; however, it has been experiencing a little negativity over the last week. During its annual conference last Thursday in San Francisco, Facebook announced a number of changes that users are not too happy about. In addition to announcing how user profiles will be changing to more of a timeline-like design, they have also introduced the new "ticker" feature. The small ribbon of updates appears on the upper right corner of a user’s homepage and literally shows your Facebook friends’ every move. Whether it’s "liking" someone’s status or posting a comment on a family member’s wall, the ticker shows it all. Amid much backlash for these changes, there are some who love it and will hopefully profit from this. They are the ones who invest millions in online advertising through Facebook.

Many companies have been following the trend of switching from traditional marketing to e-marketing, as more and more people opt to have their mail sent through the Internet. To me, it’s a win for both sides. I’m not overwhelmed with millions of pamphlets and postcards every month from companies and companies can cut costs by not having to spend money on making them. Since millions of people use the Internet, it’s a great source of advertising especially if done through Facebook. The ticker plays a role in the site’s advertising scheme. Not only does the ticker show the more common activities on Facebook, it also shows your activity on a number of apps used to play games, listen to music, and watch movies. By clicking on a link on the ticker showing a song a friend is listening to or a game he/she may be playing, you could automatically be sent to another page where you can sign up for free trials or services from that site.

The user may not like this, but this is great for the company. This feature serves as a huge advertising tool and companies feel more confident with this information than its own advertising data. If users click on a link posted through the ticker, it gives companies a better idea of the sort of music and movies that they are interested it. With this information, companies can tailor their advertising to meet the specific wants and needs of consumers, ensuring that they are getting the biggest bang for their buck. It would be pointless to invest large amounts of time and money in advertising products that consumers are not interested in.

I know I visit Facebook at least 5 times a day, and there are a number of advertisements on the homepage based on the information that is posted on my profile page. Usually these advertisements do not appeal to me, but I’m sure once something interesting hits the ticker, the advertisements will become more appealing. I know Facebook is counting on this.
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Victoria Baston

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