. . . but advertisers DON'T want Facebook users, Mr Zuck
Advertising works like this:
You are a producer. You have a product. You want people to buy it. You haven't a clue how to go about it so you advertise yourself for an advertisement agency. Half a dozen agencies make a pitch for your -- let's say -- $5 million-advertising-spend-a-year business. The agencies want that account because they know they can buy air-time or print media space a damn sight cheaper than ever you can, but you'll be billed at Rate Card anyway so won't know that 25% of the cost of that ad you paid for in last Sunday's paper or peak time TV commercial actually went straight into the agency's back pocket.
So now you, Mr Producer, discover from your son and daughter that there's something called Facebook. It looks like total shite to you because that's exactly what it is but seeing as how someone somewhere was bright enough to dress it up with the pretentious -- and daft -- description of "Social Media" then maybe you'd better think about putting some money into it.
You call in your ad agency. It tells you that the whole point of advertising is to ensure that if you are determined to open a butcher's shop, you don't do so in a village of vegetarians. Before you do anything else, you must define the nature of the audience which you as a producer would like to access.
It tells you that, by way of example, the audience for a $multi-million ocean-going yacht ain't the same as the audience for a pay-by-installments course of Instant Weight Loss Diet Pills. Thus, the yacht will be advertised in the guest magazines of hotel groups like Mandarin Oriental and Regency |International. The diet pills will be advertised in the Daily Star (UK) or National Enquirer (US.)
Only an idiot would buy Instant Lose Weight Diet Pills. Only an idiot would buy the Daily Star or National Enquirer. The audience of potential customers has been defined; the audience of potential customers has been located. Job done.
You, as the producer of the product, do not wish to access an audience of idiots because it is an established fact that the disposable income levels of idiots are considerably lower than those of individuals of greater education and greater discernment. (Politicians excluded.)
You ask your ad agency to characterize the Facebook audience. Your agency says it is largely composed of idiots unable to protect themselves from being exploited -- which means that yes, they'll see your ads, but can't afford to buy what you're selling -- and a significantly smaller number of non-idiots who, being bright enough to protect their own best interests, won't see your ads even though they can afford to buy what you're selling.
On which basis: your agency advises that Facebook ain't worth a cent of your money. And thus does General Motors cancel its FB advertising spend, and thus do hundreds of other majors and their ad agencies fall about laughing every time an increasingly desperate FB sales team makes contact to talk about likes and hits but never, ever, about sales conversions. Just: put your ad spend with us and your client will soon be liked by 1 million idiots. Oh my yes.
Mr Zuck can dumb down his T & C spiel for his already dumbed-down audience all he wants. But going from dumb to dumber still doesn't make his business model any the more appealing, nor assure Facebook of a life that much longer than that of a hula hoop: there is, after all, only so much money to be made out of the purveyors of Instant Weight Loss Diet Pills.