Today I want to talk about an article I just read by Craig Kanalley of the Huffington Post on the exponential outburst of advertisements on social media websites.
Within the last few years, sites like Facebook and Twitter, which exploded in popularity, have made a strong push toward monetization. And that monetization has led to a large scale increase in the number of advertisements users are seeing on their individual pages.
For a while, social media users had it good; their profiles and site homepages were completely free of unwanted, unrequested ads. But recent developments have left users facing targeted ads from various producers, and asking themselves, “Why?” …or more importantly, “Is there any way around this?”
Not without paying for it, Kanalley writes. He highlights that Facebook’s IPO has positioned them as much more of a business than a simple social media platform, now placing these targeted promotion on user’s news feed, and Twitter allows for any user to sponsor a tweet to appear in user’s home feeds as well. Furthermore, YouTube runs advertisements before almost any popular video on their site.
But Kanalley’s key argument is the following: this trend toward advertisements on previously “free” social media platforms was an inevitable one. Advertising is an integral part of the modern business cycle, and online advertisements are just a side-effect of the Internet Age. Businesses have been and are always looking to reach consumers wherever they can grasp their attention: in this case, social media sites.
So, really, this growth of ads was unavoidable to social users. But now that’s they’re prevalent, what happens next? Will users pay to remove ads? Will they find some place else to connect and share content? Regardless, Kanalley says, businesses will find consumers. So social media users better gear up for an increased number of advertisements, coming soon to a theatre near you.