Facebook: From Ads to Stories

Facebook wants to use stories to build relationships between advertisers and consumers. I’m not sure how they’re planning their execution, but the public will probably eat it up.

From the Facebook Keynote:

We are moving from ads to stories. Lots of ads add up to noise. Lots of stories are how we build our relationships. We’re only using ads because we couldn’t build enough “connections” to tell stories on the scale that large brands need. Now that’s changing, thanks to Facebook.

Interesting concept, but I’m curious as to their execution strategy. Profiles and timelines are all about telling people’s life stories, especially with the recent Facebook changes. But how can this be ported to advertisements in a non-intrusive and effective way?

I do accept the premise that advertising, specifically ads on Facebook and Google, is broken. I also agree that story telling is a way to truly engage people. Word-of-mouth and friend’s recommendations hold so much weight because there’s a real success story of a tangible person purchasing and using a product. Yet I’m not sure how to combine these two concepts in a way that doesn’t feel like outright manipulation.

That being said, I’m consistently surprised by the general public’s willingness to pour money into outright gimmicks (*cough* 3Dmovies *cough*) so maybe a story telling ad campaign will be wildly successful, even with a poor execution. I also have faith in Facebook’s potential to take people’s money.

We’ll just have to wait and see how this all unfolds.

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