A lot of people don’t click on Facebook ads.
So Slate’s Farhad Manjoo recently posed and answered the following question: How does Facebook expect to become a big business if some people avoid ads like the plague?
The answer, Manjoo says, is “surprisingly obvious.”
“It’s a fact well-known to advertisers, though it’s not always appreciated by people who use Facebook or even by folks in the Web ad business: Clicks don’t matter,” Manjoo writes. “Whether you know it or not—even if you consider yourself sceptical of marketing—the ads you see on Facebook are working. Sponsored messages in your feed are changing your behaviour—they’re getting you and your friends to buy certain products instead of others, and that’s happening despite the fact that you’re not clicking, and even if you think you’re ignoring the ads.”
Studies have shown that even if people don’t click on ads, just seeing the ad will influence a future purchase, similar to way ads work on television.
That’s because Facebook uses a form of marketing called “demand-generation,” which aims to plant ideas in your head and doesn’t intend to elicit an immediate response, Manjoo writes.
Head on over to Slate to learn more about how Facebook does this, and what it means for your privacy.
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