What Facebook’s doing about all the money it’s not making


Facebook recently broke the 150 million user mark but has been mainly focussed on growing in size rather than generating revenue
Though the popular social media site has tried various ways to generate revenue, they haven’t landed on a monster revenue gainer as Google did with paid search. Rather, Facebook have mainly dabbled with banner displays which traditionally yield appalling CTRs
Facebook have begun overcoming their CTR issue by using engagement ads which leverage user behavior over previous poor-performance banner ads. But this is still a far cry from Facebook’s potential.   
They now plan on leveraging their vast number of users in order to allow companies real-time, granular polling. 
Recently at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland Facebook launched it’s polls feature which allows companies to poll users real time. Targeting users based on their demographics and behavior, the polls are designed to gain instant feedback from a specific segment on product development, campaigns and brand sentiment etc etc. 

If you ask me this is a great move for Facebook. Considering most company’s spend on marketing will be less over the next couple of years due to the global economic crisis and the demand for accountability will be larger, companies will demand this insight every time they need to decide… well, anything. 

The main issue will be ensuring privacy is managed correctly by Facebook. One way to do this would be to ensure users opt into the program.  

The new product reminds me of some of the existing “cash for you time” research and seeding services that currently exist such as pureprofile. Offering an incentive to people would certainly ensure a greater acceptance from Facebook’s masses. Given their increasing rise in popularity virtual gifts may be the perfect way for Facebook to ensure incentives without having to forgo any of their revenue.  

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