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back to article Dear Facebook: I heard the news today, oh boy

Facebook has been tugging apart and putting back together its website over the past year, trying to make more cash out of its network and hopefully see its stock rocket now that it has Wall Street to answer to. The revamp has been a bit like watching a petulant child yank off the arms, legs, and head of a Barbie Doll, then …

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Yet another reason why I am glad I never purchased Facebook shares.

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I *might* be buying facebook shares further down the line.

I'm down to my last two bogrolls of SCO shares.

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Happy

I suppose you bought into the Chunnel, too?

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FAIL

And the admen get their money from where, exactly? This is the flaw at the heart of every "free" service. If companies ever decide "targeted" online advertising isn't the best way to persuade people to buy things, a lot of services will collapse. I had a quick skim of the Facebook annual report and couldn't find much covering how they make money away from selling advertising space. Looks like they could have problems in the future if they don't find other ways to bring the money in.

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I can't see advertising changing enough that it would prevent such services from selling advertising space. We have had advertising for a long time and it only seems to be increasing both online and out in the real world.

I'll admit that I know sod all about advertising but the only way I can ever see Facebook having trouble selling adverts is if the advertisers decide that they aren't reaching enough users. This could happen if Facebook's user base plummets or if major shopping websites (e.g. Amazon) start to have a more effective form of advertising i.e. not suggesting that people buy the same product (or type of product) that they purchased 5 mins ago

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Anonymous Coward

...or if...

If Farcebook itself starts to look too negative itself; perhaps giving off the impression of running out of steam or looking a bit frayed at the edges. There's nothing advertisers - particularly big 'brands' - hate more than being associated with something that isn't exceptionally shiny and "with it". Once the slide starts it becomes self perpetuating because ad men love nothing better than having their product hang about in packs - look at the collapse in magazine advertising, more 'rout' than 'slide'.

FB is also barely at the margins of 'useful' which could fairly quickly turn to 'irrelevant' if it's user base turns out to be half full of very unengaged occasional users - a whiff of looking like the collapse of myspace and the ad money will be off. Google doesn't have the same problem because its core offering, search, is far more of a fundamental necessity, and email, which it does fairly well, stubbornly refuses to die. Google's advertising is more like paid links, which requires little in the way of repeat user visits or engagment to pay, whereas FB is more focussed on brand building which requires a good deal more user attention over a longer period to convince ad men to centre campaigns on it.

I wouldn't go near FBs stock, but I'd take a bet that in ten years they'll look a lot like today's Yahoo; plenty of cash, but bitter and utterly irrelevant.

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Re: ...or if...

"There's nothing advertisers - particularly big 'brands' - hate more than being associated with something that isn't exceptionally shiny and "with it"."

Actually, big brands tend to use marketing rather than guesswork to determine whether advertising is worthwhile. Facebook has exceptionally good marketing tools to go with the advertising business and so they are likely to remain profitable for some time to come.

(disclaimer: many folk reading this site may want to look up marketing as it's often misunderstood as advertising by tech folk for some reason)

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hope to get more people to hang around longer

I've lost count of the number of internet companies that tried creating portal pages we'd all be irresistable drawn to hang around on. It's a desperate plan that predates 56k dial-up and I don't remember it ever working.

The only advantage FB has is a service supposedly more addictive than crack. I suspect that won't work any more than it did in the early days, when the Internet itself was seen in much the same way.

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Anonymous Coward

Google+ over Facebook any day of the week.

1/ Google actually honors your privacy, Facebook abuses it.

2/ Google+ has a REALLY good smartphone client, rather than that really crap Facebook one.

3/ Google+ is full of smart and interesting people, discussing smart and interesting stuff, rather than the cretins that post what they had for dinner on Facebook.

4/ Google integrates really nicely with all their services.

It's a no brainier for me. My family and friends I prefer to communicate with in person, everything else, it's G+

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Boffin

Re: Google+ over Facebook any day of the week.

PWND by Google

All your docs/music/photos/emails/browser belong to us.

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Re: Google+ over Facebook any day of the week.

Nice to see the Google Shills are on station, monitoring forums and posting the GSpin®

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Elmer Phud - Re: Google+ over Facebook any day of the week.

Elmer Phud: and how is that different to how Facebook owns you??? No seriously, do tell!!

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Re: Google+ over Facebook any day of the week.

@AC21:17: Google actually honors your privacy

I really hope for your sake you aren't actually stupid enough to actually believe that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Google+ over Facebook any day of the week.

4/ is the killer for me

I don't want everything integrated, I want my social networking as far away from my email and search results as humanly possible.

Google is by default my search provider it does a decent(ish) job of that, and while I can happily block all the Facebook foo outside of Facebook I don't want to block Google functionality and have to remember to log out in and out of Google accounts all the time just to stop them linking every last thing I do together.

I doubt I'm Facebooks ideal customer. I have Social Fixer installed to customize my newsfeed the way I want it (not the ways Facebook offers) and get rid of the ads + sponsored posts (brilliant tool btw and Google for all the 'we care about our users' just pulled it from the Chrome store) I also use a fake, but believable name something Google takes issue with.

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Re: Google+ over Facebook any day of the week.

"3/ Google+ is full of smart and interesting people, discussing smart and interesting stuff, rather than the cretins that post what they had for dinner on Facebook."

Actually, since you only see your friends on either of these services, that would be your fault for hanging around with dullards. My Facebook feed is full of interesting people doing interesting things because those are the people I choose to have on my feed.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Google+ over Facebook any day of the week.

1/ Ha, ha, ha, ha!

2/ HA, HA, HA!

3/ RFLMAO. No please! Stop!

4/ <---

They're as bad as each other (google/facebook), frankly.

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Re: Google+ over Facebook any day of the week.

"since you only see your friends on either of these services"

Minor point, but G+ is more like a cross between Facebook and Twitter, so you actually can "meet" lots of other people (unless you disable it).

I find G+ is better for following content creators (bloggers, photographers, videos, etc.) than Twitter, as they can directly share their content rather than just link to it.

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Meh

Re: Google+ over Facebook any day of the week.

"1/ Google actually honors your privacy, Facebook abuses it."

What? Seriously? So it doesn't totally suck my data and use me for advertising revenue?

"3/ Google+ is full of smart and interesting people, discussing smart and interesting stuff, rather than the cretins that post what they had for dinner on Facebook."

That's down to *your* choice of 'friendships', not the service. If you don't 'friend' idiots on FB, you don't have any!

"4/ Google integrates really nicely with all their services."

All the better to slurp your data, build a better advertising profile and SUCK YOUR SOUL with.

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Re: Google is by default my search provider

If you think Google hasn't figured out how to tie what you think are your anonymous searches to their database about you, you are sadly mistaken. They have their tendrils in the backend of just about everything on the internet.

I only sleep well on nights when I don't think about that too much.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Google+ over Facebook any day of the week.

Clearly you simply believe everything you read on the internet.

Google allow you to take your data elsewhere, Facebook doesn't

http://www.google.com/takeout/

Google allow you to TRULY delete everything they know about you. Facebook don;t (they claim to delete your account, but actually they don't Try deleting your account and signing into a new fake account and see who it recommends you may know...). Try the same test on Google, and whilst it takes 4-6 weeks, after that, they truly have removed everything about you.

Google allow you to opt out of advertising and tracking. Facebook don't.

https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout

Google give you lots of really cool stuff in return for a little bit of info about you. Their privacy policy is very clear on what they can and can't do with your data. They can't sell on your details, all they can do is share details amongst their own services and use it to serve up relevant adverts.

Facebook give you a advert laden chat window for your friends and some farming games.

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Re: Google+ over Facebook any day of the week.

>I don't want to block Google functionality and have to remember to log out in and out of Google accounts all the time just to stop them linking every last thing I do together.

I've found running multiple browsers (ie. IE, Chrome, Firefox) on the desktop helps here.

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Well...

I know it sounds pessimistic, but no one cares about FaceBook anything anymore. Either you use it, or you don't. It's just another skeleton in the internet closest, let it die in peace.

R.I.P. FaceBook, thanks for all the fish.

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Re: Well...

It was fun when it was new, and "free" (yeah, yeah). Just like the "good ol' days".

Now it's a boring ol' corp, and you *just know* the subscriber fees are coming, as well as the bigger ads.

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Trollface

Re: Well...

I'll miss FB when it's gone. I'm not a subscriber but I always keep up with lamebook.com

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just had some nice tastey chicken.

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Anonymous Coward

Sponsor message

Feeling hungry? Click HERE to order your tub of family-sized chicken nuggets! 10% discount if you pay with Facebook credits!

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Trollface

Re: Sponsor message

Well trolled sir (madam?), have an upvote for being this first on this page.

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Pint

To continue...

And though the news was rather small...

They had to run it all,

'Cos when it's on the web, the cost to do so, well it's just f##k all.

I'd love to turn... this... off...

Yawn.

Beer, because if you've read this far, you know it's been implicated.

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Happy

Re: To continue...

Oh very droll sir!

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Hostile Takeover

Just how low do facebook shares have to be, before google decides its just worth buying them out?!

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Anonymous Coward

Ponzi...

@Article

"for every one of the billion users supposedly engaged with Facebook"

This is one of the biggest internet ponzi schemes. One billion users!?! How many of these are in the name of cats, dogs, car-names etc?

Lets play a simple game here. Lets see how many of Reg readers are on Facebook with their real names and how many either do not have an account on Facebook or have used fake names. Please down-vote this post if you have just one account with your real name, else up-vote the post.

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Re: Ponzi...

Up vote here if you don't have a fb account ;)

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Devil

Re: Ponzi...

and downvote here if you have one :))

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Re: Ponzi...

Two accounts, both with fake names. Had my real name on one account (friends and family one) until Farcebook's latest privacy change (making everything public by default... again) and instantly received a death threat from someone (who I barely know - said hello to once when with a mutual friend - aside from the fact even her husband ran away from her as she's that much of a nutter). Now life on Farcebook is even quieter (just the way I like it) as no-one knows who the strangely named kitten is on their friends list. Meow.

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Thumb Down

Re: Ponzi...

I see your upvote scam.

The things people will do to get a badge... sheesh.

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Happy

Re: Ponzi...

There's badges now??? Cool!

Put me down for one entitled "The Internet's biggest and most gullable loser".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ponzi...

I have one account with my real name and two for my cats. How should I vote?

BTW: Did I mention I'm from Chicago? (Okay, I'm not really, but for FB purposes I am.)

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Pint

Re: Ponzi...

I don't think we need steeeenkin' badges.

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Stop

Facebook eh?

No

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Coat

Facebook - whats that again?

Never used it, never will. Social networking sites are so last decade...

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Re: Facebook - whats that again?

Posted from Twitter or Linked-in?

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Pint

clear as gravy

FB has long sinced moved towards a supposedly premium model for traders and large corporations, in that they'll bump their search rankings for dosh. They can get away with it, and boost rankings on external search engines based on sheer volume of hits and referrals, because it purports to be a closed system. Google have had their run ins with legislators for tilting rankings on a public search engine.

The subscription model that sucks in and retains 10% of the user base is more likely to come from mobile, where a couple of quid a month might be seen as a pittance, especially among the blathering classes. So don't be surprised to see the premium offerings being tilted heavily towards phone and slab users, with fancy schmancy "user customisable " configurations and the like. Throwing a sleb photo skin on it would probably seal the deal for the young and impressionable.Whether it's pea-brained footballers or disposable pop icons, it's all about representin', innit. Think of the image rights goldmine, dwarlinks, and the download charts, of course. Trebles all round!.

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Anonymous Coward

FaceBook emails bypass filtering for cash

FaceBook seem to have changed the options for receiving messages from people who are not "Friends". The default is now "Basic" - which allows many people you don't know to send you messages.

Even the alternative "Strict" setting will still put messages in your main inbox from people you don't know - but who have paid FB for the privilege.

http://www.facebook.com/help/521623774515569

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Re: FaceBook emails bypass filtering for cash

That's as maybe, but I've personally yet to have ever received such a spam or advertising message.

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What's the problem?

Facebook is fine when some restraints are placed on it.

Ad-Block and Social Fixer do the trick -- what adverts? What spam?

No pictures of Zuckerberg (ain't filters wonderful)

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Anonymous Coward

Facebook adverts are useless

I would like to know how the ads are targeted, I don't click any ads in FB but it still knows I'm a fat bastard with all the lose weight ads. Is it from other sites I visit and notice in comment sections I'm already logged in to post using my FB account. Although I always decline to add the comment to FB news feed.

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Re: Facebook adverts are useless

I was under the impression that if you land on any page with a "Like" button your facebook cookies / credentials are presented to facebook when it downloads the "Like" icon. So even if you have logged out but allowed cookies Facebook knows exactly where you are almost all the time.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

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Funny

For all the people that claim not to use facebook, they sure are quick to read and comment on an article about it. Don't like it, don't use it, pretty simple.

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Re: Funny

For me it's exactly like windows (I use linux). I should be too old to enjoy these punny ranting, yet their pathetic struggles bring smile to my cranky face. It's my secret sin.

I have no real grip with facebook, I had an account I visited once per year, which is now deleted. No big deal there. I guess I don't like it because it propels a bad side out of people, their vacuity and vanity.

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Pint

Re: Funny

But my vanity is my *good* side.

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