Is Social Media Becoming an Advertising Wasteland? #deathofsocialmedia

Professor Donna L. Hoffman

facebook sponsored storiesI’ve been wondering lately about the long-term viability of social media stalwarts like Facebook, Twitter and maybe even LinkedIn. Based on my research with Tom Novak, I think a strong case can be made that most people use these sites and apps to connect with others and to create and consume digital content. In the context of these experiences, ads are an interruption to the flow that characterizes the best of these experiences.

Let’s look at Facebook. In the early days, group pages, banner ads and sponsored links – being typical and familiar – were pretty unobtrusive. Easy to ignore and totally up to the consumer whether she would visit, join or click. Even as the advertising got more sophisticated with geodemo targeting of sidebar ads (penile size enhancements, anyone?), it was still pretty easy to go on about your digital life with a minimum of advertiser intrusion. Yet…

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