back to article Top Facebook exec begs students: 'Click on an ad or two'

Now that Facebook is being scrutinised by its new-found shareholders, it really needs people to start clicking on its ads. That's a fact shamelessly highlighted by Mark Zuckerberg's right-hand woman, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, who was speaking to business students at Harvard University this morning. According to …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The beginning of the end if they're not careful.

    Once site users start to be seen as cash cows not members the user experience can take a nosedive.

    1. An0n C0w4rd

      Is there any time when users of FailBook *haven't* been viewed as cash cows? A lot of the changes that happened as the platform grew were to increase the amount of data you give them and that they can use to sell to aggregators and data brokers.

      The difference is now that they'll be held accountable for their revenue stream and I suspect it won't be long before further changes are made to increase the monetisation of their data. Zuck's half-hearted "we screwed up" apology recently (regarding previous privacy failures) didn't strike me as an honest change of direction for the way the company thinks about privacy., especially with the IPO. Shareholders (rather ironically, probably people on the platform) will be demanding a plan to increase revenue per user or decrease costs.

      I don't have a failbook account, and I'm not a shareholder. And I don't regret either omission.

      1. Rock Lobster
        Stop

        I think the original poster's intention was not to say "people are from now on viewed as cash cows", but "people are from now on AWARE they're viewed as cash cows"

    2. Quxy
      Unhappy

      Facebook users have *never* been seen as "members"

      As Douglas Rushkoff pointed out quite some time ago,

      "Ask yourself who is paying for Facebook. Usually the people who are paying are the customers. Advertisers are the ones who are paying... We are not the customers of Facebook, we are the product."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Facebook users have *never* been seen as "members"

        Good post and spot on.

        Like any other Web 2.0 (grr - frikkin´ hate that term) outfit, users are referred to as RGU´s (Revenue Generating Units). Same applies to all of the telcos etc. I have old spreadsheets from my days at some very well known Web and Mobile companies where the RGU moniker is applied, rather than something like Customers, Subscribers or such like. Still, they´re not doing it for the love are they? This is all about making a buck, so no surprise really.

        Anonymous, obviously.

      2. zen1

        Re: Facebook users have *never* been seen as "members"

        What's this "we" shit, roundeye?

        1. ArmanX

          Re: Facebook users have *never* been seen as "members"

          There are other services that only have customers because people like them. Say, for instance, web comics. I've seen more than one web comic author down on his (or her) luck with medical bills or what have you, and his loyal fans actually sent money. no reason other than the fact that they really liked his comic.

          On the other hand, there are services that people need, but don't want. If you own a service that everyone wants, fine; people hate facebook, and yet they still have accounts with them, right? To some, it's a necessary evil. They need a facebook account for their job, perhaps. They are locked in to a service that they don't want, but they still need. If facebook died today, there would only be sadness in that everyone would have to learn how to use Google Plus (or whatever), and they lost their scores on MafiaFarm.

          The problem is not with thinking of customers as cash cows. The problem is *asking* customers to *be* cash cows. The webcomic author didn't need to ask to get money, because people loved him already. Facebook doing the same? They can expect, at best, a hearty laugh at their expense. People don't love facebook. People use facebook. When the next "best thing" comes along, facebook will be as dead as MySpace.

      3. samlebon23

        Re: Facebook users have *never* been seen as "members"

        "We are not the customers of Facebook, we are the product."

        SO GET OUT OF FACEBOOK ! PERIOD .

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Joke

        Re: Facebook users have *never* been seen as "members"

        900 Million bleating sheeple. Use it and loose it.

    3. Voland's right hand Silver badge
      Devil

      Excuse me for being thick

      Can you point a single moment in F***book history (or web 2.0 history for that matter) when users were not perceived as a cash cow and their private life was not perceived as a "monetizable item".

      One of the many reasons why I often say that I do not want to even learn what Web 3.0 will be about. My plan to deal with it is to communicate with any Web 3.0 entitiy from a firewalled, fortified and isolated bunker. With machine guns on the physical perimeter and hunter-killer progams on the "logical" one.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Excuse me for being thick

        "Can you point a single moment in F***book history (or web 2.0 history for that matter) when users were not perceived as a cash cow and their private life was not perceived as a "monetizable item"."

        Well, up until now, users have mostly been OFFERED as s monetizable item, i.e. FB has gotten big by the potential others thought they had. Now, with so much investor money flooded in and people expecting to get something in return, FB will be expected to DELIVER on their supposed potential. So yes, people have been the product all along, but now people have handed over money, they may expect that product to be made more use of.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sorry, no I will not be clicking on the ads...

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Please "Click on an add"

      Sounds like the "pump" part of "pump and dump"...

      1. Crisp Silver badge
        FAIL

        Please "Click on an add"

        ROFLMAO!

        No.

        Oh wait, you're serious? Let me laugh harder! :D

      2. The First Dave
        Headmaster

        Re: Please "Click on an add"

        Sounds like click-fraud to me - doubt their advertisers will be very happy to hear this.

        1. seczine.com
          Thumb Up

          Re: Please "Click on an add"

          I was just thinking the same thing, if I asked user to go to my website and click on a few adverts, Google would shut down my adsense account in minutes!

    2. Steve Renouf
      Black Helicopters

      What ads?

      I still don't know what are all these ads everyone is talking about? I never see any ads!

      Of course I do use Firefox with all the necessary plugins + TrendMicro

      1. cyborg
        Big Brother

        Re: What ads?

        Everytime I have to use a browser without such features I am reminded of just what horrors plebs must deal with on a day to day basis.

  3. Ottman001
    Facepalm

    Hardly confidence boosting is it? Was that the sound of a pin just looking for a bubble?

    So far, this whole IPO event has reminded me of just about every other market bubble (always warnings, always ignored). Now I'm reminded of Gerald Ratner as well.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Gerald Ratner

      No. This week's Gerald Ratner moment was surely Stevie B saying that the two most recent versions of Windows were "cheesy and dated".

      1. Ottman001

        Re: Gerald Ratner

        I do not believe the two compare. That was yet another moment for Microsoft to look a bit wobbly. But Microsoft are sufficiently stable to weather the odd wobble because they make numerous products that are certain to be making money in a years time. They have supply contracts and support contracts to ensure it. This gives them a buffer against sudden market changes that Facebook does not have. If I had Microsoft shares, the thing that would be causing me to shit bricks is their having sweaty monkey boy for a CEO.

        If the next new hot thing came along tomorrow (I'm obviously not talking Google+ here), Facebooks active user count could drop off a cliff so FBs only product - an advert delivery mechanism - would be seriously devalued. To accept it already needs a bit of help even with 900 million users when the market really doesn't know what to make of your share price... I see comparisons to Ratner but it looks like she got away with it this time.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What adverts?

    I have had adblock longer than a facebook account. I never realised it had adverts......

    1. Aaron Em

      A good start

      Now just configure it to block everything else from Facebook, and you'll really be cooking with fire.

      1. pPPPP

        Re: A good start

        "Now just configure it to block everything else from Facebook, and you'll really be cooking with fire."

        Maybe I'm over the top, but I block those stupid little blue icons that plague all other web sites. I want nothing to do with them.

        As for those people who believed that a company that produces and sells nothing is worth billions of dollars, I laugh in their faces. Unfortunately the morons who are in charge of my pension probably invested a bunch in it. And they'll still get their fat bonus.

    2. cs94njw

      Re: What adverts?

      *cough* But you see TheRegister adverts right?

      1. jai

        Re: What adverts?

        I don't. I access the site via m.theregister.co.uk

        But that is more because with the adverts, it's blatantly obvious to passers-by in the office that I'm reading a website.

        The plain layout of the mobile site is perhaps a little less obvious that I'm not doing the work I should be doing. Just need to override the CSS that puts the big splashes of red at the top and bottom and then I can fully pretend I'm busy reading TPS reports....

        From home I access the normal site though, so I'm not depriving El Reg of their income too much :)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Headmaster

          Re: What adverts?

          "...From home I access the normal site though, so I'm not depriving El Reg of their income too much..."

          What? At home, you click on the shitty ads?

      2. Sarev
        Mushroom

        Re: What adverts?

        OK, I'm prepared for the down-votes but...

        Hang on, people piss and moan about us taking money away from our favourite sites by blocking the ads with adblock or similar. Fair enough. But I've _never_ ever clicked on an ad on a web site. I don't watch ads on TV. Don't ads make money for the host site via a click-through? If so, what difference does it make whether I've blocked the ads or not? I'm not clicking through. I'll answer my own question: the only difference is I don't get a migraine from all the bloody Flash and animated GIFs.

    3. Robert E A Harvey
      Coat

      Re: What adverts?

      I am happy to use adblock and ghostery to cut back their hedonism a bit

      1. Deadly_NZ
        Black Helicopters

        Re: What adverts?

        And Beef Taco, Flashblock, No script, and better privacy. Paranoid who me?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    spare a dime gov

    willya?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Re: spare a dime gov

      LOL

      Yeah thats it in a nutshell.

      Facebook, large multinational company, pays there staff alot, large marketing department. WHat do they come up with as a marketing stratergy to push the main selling points of Facebook. Well after much debate of genius minds they come out with: Pleeease!

      What next 2013's marketing campaign is what - Pretty Pleeease followed in 2014 by Pretty Pleeease with a cherry ontop and finaly in 2015: You must click on 3 of the 10 adverts to verfiy your identity and login to your Facebook account.

      --

      Joke alert, though time may well prove me wrong on this.

      --

  6. cs94njw

    Lucky they didn't duck questions at anywhere that might influence business people of the future...

  7. jai

    Should have realised before

    Didn't they do any stats beforehand to realise that no one likes the ads and no one clicks on them?

    Or did they just hope that for some reason, after the IPO, we'd all have a change of heart?

    1. An0n C0w4rd

      Re: Should have realised before

      There was a report recently that the click-through rate on Failbook ads was significantly lower than from competing ad brokers (e.g. Google). I suspect the conversion rate (people who click through AND buy) is probably also significantly lower, but I can't remember offhand.

      ISTR the report commented that he ad relevance on Failbook was lower, despite all their tracking code that is scattered on other websites (that they claim they don't actually track you with). How long until the "like" buttons scattered through the web are secretly used to build better behavioural profiling to increase ad relevance?

      1. Blank Reg Silver badge

        Re: Should have realised before

        I've never seen any data regarding what % of ad clicks actually end up generating revenue, but I suspect it's incredibly low. in my case that would be 0%, I've only ever clicked on ads by accident. I hardly even notice they are there so I'm fairly certain that they have had no influence on my purchasing habits.

        Unless I'm rather unusual in my surfing habits then web ads would appear to be greatly over rated.

        1. seczine.com
          Thumb Up

          Re: Should have realised before

          I am not saying you are wrong, I see about a 0.5% click through rate on my adsense, but how do you suggest a website pay for itself if no one is willing to click on an advert to fund the site?

          Most users do not want to pay to access a site, especially a new site trying to establish itself, you might pay for Wall Street Journal Access, but not a new site about cyber security that previously you had not heard off.

          If we want "free" content, like the Register, we need to find a way to make sure they can pay for their Journo's and servers and internet bandwidth etc etc

          I would be keen to understand what model you would be willing to support, given the fact it is not adverts.

  8. Bluenose
    Thumb Down

    And my ad is

    for another credit card. Sorry that's how the world got in to its current economic mess, to much credit.

    Perhaps Facebook should do what other sites do and track your interests to provide suitable ads that you might be interested in. Of course I don't click them either so it won't change things but at least I'll be ignoring the things that I might possibly at some point in the future be interested in.

    1. Steve Knox Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: And my ad is

      "Sorry that's how the world got in to its current economic mess, to much credit."

      To much credit for whom?

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: And my ad is

        Timeo Danaes credit references ferentes...

        1. Anonymous Dutch Coward
          Headmaster

          Re: And my ad is

          Good, though I think it's Danaos, not Danaes. Could be my memory going though...

        2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

          Re: Timeo Danaes...

          I don't think there is much danger in 'em Danaos, what with all the current economic climate, the failed elections and the coming default...

    2. LaeMing

      Re: And my ad is

      Judging by the content of my adds recently, I would estimate FB trawled my personal website for keywords about 2 weeks ago.

  9. JimmyPage Silver badge
    FAIL

    I suspect

    the only way they can keep the cash coming is, is to devise a way to charge users. I look forward to the introduction of the ability to upgrade to a "Facebook Gold" account.

    1. stanimir
      Trollface

      Re: I suspect

      the only sensible and useful service comes w/ paying customers.

      ads are plain ugly (my adblocker blocks everything w/ from facebook.com). I await the moment firefox will come w/ installed (and configured) adblocker, easily winning the fastest browser award.

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: I suspect

        Midori comes with a built-in adblocking function - you just have to tick a box to activate it.

        http://twotoasts.de/index.php/midori/

        "Features: Extensions such as Adblock, form history, mouse gestures or cookie management."

      2. Nigel 11
        Alert

        Re: I suspect

        Firefox + Adblock Plus? Doesn't come with it, but it's a plugin just a few clicks away, and works just fine.

        And a free idea, Adblock DoublePlusGood. the same, but behind the scenes it clicks on all the adverts that you don't see, and sends whatever comes back to the bit-bucket.

        1. stanimir

          Re: I suspect

          sure i can not imagine the web w/o adblock stuff but the point is to have to opt-out, not go and get the plug-in.

          DoublePlusGood looks like a neat idea, although it won't work for flashes easily since they have to be started and clicked upon.

          1. TeeCee Gold badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: I suspect

            "DoublePlusGood looks like a neat idea, although it won't work for flashes...."

            So, if it takes off, Flash ads will generate lower revenue and Flash will die. What's not to like?

      3. h4rm0ny

        Re: I suspect

        "await the moment firefox will come w/ installed (and configured) adblocker, easily winning the fastest browser award."

        Mozilla is substantially funded by Google. You may have a long wait before the mainline releases of Firefox come with ad-block built in.

        1. stanimir

          Re: I suspect

          Mozilla is substantially funded by Google. You may have a long wait before the mainline releases of Firefox come with ad-block built in.

          I am very well aware. It's not too much money though and even strategically cutting off a great lump of google revenue could be an interesting option for some.

  10. ukgnome Silver badge
    Pirate

    Now it's all about the share price

    When do you think they'll start charging for access?

    I actually think that this will happen with a year. I don't think they will charge much, but if every facebook user paid 1$ on top of the advertising this would be quite a money spinner.

    Like most of you lot, if that happened I would close my account.

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge

      @ukgnome

      they won't charge for access *as such* (didn't boy Zuckerberg promise FB will "always be free").

      What they will do, is ensure that there can be a differential between "premium" and "classic" accounts. My guess is that "premium" will have previews of new features, be invited to "preview only" groups, and have fewer restrictions (based on the fact a credit card was used) than "classic". Ironically, I'd bet the first distinction between the two will be the ability of "premium" accounts to opt-out of advertising.

      They might also try and find a way to get commercial organisations to pay for their FB accounts

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @ukgnome

        Since when has a company's promise meant any more than a politician's?

        Facebook I suspect will dive like MySpace and all the rest but Zuck has his cash (enough to see him out the rest of his natural days anyway) so those promises aren't worth Jack now.

    2. Scott 19
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Now it's all about the share price

      They'll just IGN it and make you watch an advert before you can access the s*it(e).

      Advert closing in 3, 2, 1....FaceBook!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Now it's all about the share price

        "make you watch an advert before you can access the s*it(e)."

        Reminds me of another website I used to visit occasionally.

        Some distant connection with this one.

        Some bloke called Magee.

        Can't remember the name, TheRequirer or something.

        Last few visits before I gave up, before entering the site it offered you the opportunity to watch a Dell/HP/IBM/whocares video on the history of computing or similar. Or "click here to go straight to the site".

        I mean, wtf? Top-tier (?) IT advertisers *pay* for opportunities that?

  11. DJ 2
    Pint

    Every afternoon this week, I've typed

    "Facebook Share Price" into google, and it's bought a smile to my face.

    it's the little things that count.

    and now Beer time.

  12. LinkOfHyrule
    Coat

    'Click on an ad or two'

    Clearly begging isn't illegal in Massachusetts then!

  13. TakeTheSkyRoad

    Disappointed

    I was hoping for some "new" in my news but it seems not. Just an article using a speech closing funny as the basis for recycling the news from the last week :(

  14. Paul Wells
    FAIL

    Isn't that fraud?

    Or something like it? The terms and conditions for most ad networks say you're not to ask people to click on the ads.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Isn't that fraud?

      Occurred to me too, asking people to click when there is no intention to even consider buying sounds like fraud to me.

    2. Chris Harrison
      Thumb Down

      Re: Isn't that fraud?

      Well if you sign up for google adsense its very clear that you are not allowed to click on ads on your own sites (obviously) and you can't ask people to click on ads either.

      What this facebook exec is suggesting destroys the entire integrity of facebook as an advertising medium. She should be sacked as an example before the advertisers begin to walk.

      1. LaeMing
        Go

        Won't somebody think of the ... advertisers.

        Yes, how many advertisers will be happy paying for clicks that are so obviously solicited and hence not revenue-gentrating? If I was an advertiser, I'd be pulling out immediately!

    3. David Gosnell

      Re: Isn't that fraud?

      My immediate thought also. Any reputable (relatively speaking) ad network will dump Facebook immediately for this soliciting of fraudulent clicks. That looks REALLY good to the shareholders who held their heads resolutely in the sand as even the BBC thoroughly explained what fools anyone buying would be.

    4. mike2R
      Boffin

      Re: Isn't that fraud?

      It depends how the advertisers are paying. If they are paying per click then yes, this is blatant ripping off advertisers. The sort of thing that gets you kicked off any advertising network that cares about still being in business next year.

      But if they are paying for impressions or pay for conversions then it isn't - the click doesn't change the cost to the advertiser; if anything it is beneficial to the advertiser since some of the people making the click may actually read the landing page, hence see more of the marketing, hence increased sales.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I signed up to Facebook not long after they opened it to the general public. The younger members of my family use it and as a result the aunts and uncles have joined. I have a few friends who're members too. Beyond a vague keeping in touch utility, I really dislike the user interface which strikes me as essentially unfathomable to all but the very keen users. It's just a very big contact database and not a very well organised one at that.

    The only thing they've got going for them is the game side. I find it intensely irritating to be pestered by people to play some poxy game which seems to be a borderline extortion racket designed to extract cash from the gullible. I'm sure these games will become ever more prevalent and instrusive in the search for revenue.

    I suspect the whole thing is very lastminute.com and the shares will be down 90% to about fair value in a few months. It does have nearly $4 billion in revenue from last year after all, with over $1 billion in profit so I think it'd be worth a punt at $3 a share.

    .

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Facepalm

      "I really dislike the user interface which strikes me as essentially unfathomable......."

      That's 'cos it's the personal fiefdom of Zuckerbitch, who understands the way people work in much the same way as cockroaches understand General Relativity.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      $3 a share is too low - but at least you are in the right ball park.

      Roughly - if they are making $1bn a year a normal valuation for this type of company would be around 15bn - so their IPO valuation was about 7x too high - so instead of $38 a share they are probably 'worth' more like $5-6 per share.

      Makes Apple look positively cheap in comparison - they made profits after tax of $26bn (so they made what Facebook made in a year every 2 weeks). Apple's 'value' is $528bn (about 5x the Facebook IPO valuation) yet they actually make 26x more profit - PLUS - Apple have over $100bn 'cash' sitting in the bank.

      So take out the cash and Apple's 'business' is actually only being valued at around $400bn - less than 4x the Facebook IPO valuation for a company making 26x the profits - of the two who would you buy?

      1. Displacement Activity

        @AC: $5-6?

        Your analysis only works if the business is sustainable, and will generate at least the same profits for maybe 10 years, and if the company actually does distribute those profits to shareholders. If all this is true, then your share of the business will eventually start to make real money for you.

        In short, even if FB was at a normal 'fair' valuation, you'd have to be incredibly optimistic to buy in at that price, given that there's no protectable IP involved, and the entire history of the web makes it painfully obvious that the FB product will get up off it's collective arse and walk off as soon as it finds a greener field to chew its cud in.

        Which only leaves one reason to buy in at a stupidly high price - a belief that the market will expand enormously. There's absolutely nothing to indicate that this will happen. There aren't even enough people on the planet to make it happen. And most of those currently left over are Chinese, and nobody in their right mind would expect them to flock to FB when they can do it their own way.

  16. Nigel 11
    Devil

    Script it?

    Er ... buy some FB shares and then write a script to "click" on FB ads? Then call it the FB share-price pusher and persuade all the other FB shareholders to download it? Or just embed it in an "Angry Birds"-alike app?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Script it?

      Or, do what you've described, but short the FB shares, run your script campaign, then leak out what 'someone' has been doing to pump the FB stock price.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Script it?

        Jeez. That was *exactly* my plan to make a million.

    2. h4rm0ny

      Re: Script it?

      That's all kinds of wrong and long-term would do more harm to Facebook's share price than most other legal actions by an individual could. Note, I don't think you'd need to do that part where you buy some FB shares youself. Isn't that just wasting money?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ad quality

    So the day I turned 40 I started getting 'mature dating' ads on Facebook.

    Damn them, damn them all.

    1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Ad quality

      "So the day I turned 40 I started getting 'mature dating' ads on Facebook."

      Sue 'em for ageism?

  18. oregonensis
    Mushroom

    If I begged for clicks, that would be fraud, and I'd never see a dime from my Web adverts.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Suing

    Suing for being greedy, naive or stupid, or all three?! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...

  20. Anonymous Electronic Warfare
    Flame

    Do This

    A) Use AdBlock Plus

    B) Use NoScript

    C) Take control of your own data: http://friendica.com/

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I disabled ads on facebooks, they ended up getting way too obstructive and excessive a few months ago, such that itd hurt my eyes trying to focus on content :/

  22. John Savard Silver badge

    One Hopes...

    that this was a joke. Since advertisers pay for clicks, clicking on an ad if you're not interested in possibly buying whatever it is - just to give the website a boost - constitutes fraud!

    Or, at least, it comes close enough that some online advertising providers view it that way. And that is a fair concern for protecting the value of ad banners and the like.

  23. Uplink
    Flame

    Ads

    Once they start displaying proper ads, not scams, I'll click on them. I mean, I'm always clicking at least an ad a week, on Google and other sites, if they catch my eye as remotely interesting. Having 20 ads saying "date person with 7 heads", I'm not clicking on them, ESPECIALLY if they say a friend of mine did so. Give me proper ads, that don't tie a click to my profile.

  24. stucs201

    I click on the ads quite frequently.

    Well, not the ad itself, the little symbol at the side to hide and say why. I tend to go for 'offensive' as the reason. I don't think they've yet worked out I'm offended they think I'm stupid enough to click any old crap they show me instead of going and finding what I want myself when I actually want it.

  25. samlebon23

    Here is how to get rid of Facebook ads:

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/greasemonkey/

  26. P. Lee Silver badge
    Mushroom

    you had better get clicking....

    because 100bn doesn't disappear without someone asking for a handout.

    Probably not just FB, but there are banks, pension funds etc

    It isn't all dumb VC and dumber grannies buying those shares.

    You'll be paying for it with your taxes. Better to spread the cost around the economy so no-one goes down.

    Oh the joys of "too big to fail!"

  27. The Nameless Mist
    FAIL

    Please click on an ad ... please give us $

    in other words in order to keep our share price up and keep us nice and wealthy will you please waste your bandwidth clicking on things that you have little or no interest in, that will inevitably result in your FB profile being "sterotyped" to deposit more ads at you.

    watch me NOT care.

  28. Kevin7
    Unhappy

    It seems no one has really worked out (other than Google, possibly) how to make a service that's free at the point of use, pay.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The advertisers will be 'well happy' that people are being encouraged to (indiscriminately) click an ad or two to generate some revenue for Facebook. In the long term it's a bad idea as ROI for advertisers would drop and they may stop advertising altogether.

    The whole Facebook IPO etc. sounds worse every day - would you invest in a company where the CEO spends 1bn (their entire profits for a year) on a company that probably also makes little / no money with little regard to the rest of the board. Also rigs the voting rights on the shares so he retains more than 50% - sounds a pretty poor bet before you even look at the financials.

  30. aiop
    Thumb Down

    Oh dear ...

    what a mess, it'll end in tears - hopefully.

  31. A J Stiles
    Stop

    Oh, I click on adverts on Facebook, alright

    I click on the "X" and when prompted for a reason why I don't like it, I always answer "Because it is an advertisement".

    The advertisements are served from Facebook's own domain, so I can't even block them.

    Surely I am not alone in feeling I would sooner pay for the Internet than have to look at adverts?

  32. CraigW

    Growth

    Facebook can now only grow at about the rate of growth of the population as a whole. Other countries are not interested in it / have their own equivalents.

    The time for an IPO was two or three years ago.

  33. JimmyPage Silver badge
    FAIL

    I could have told the US stock market something ...

    The vast majority of FB users I know (about) are kids ... well known for their (parents) disposable incomes.

    Or, to put it another way, if you needed a credit card to log into FB, how many of it's "users" would disappear overnight.

    Tulips, anyone ?

    1. Nigel 11
      Unhappy

      Re: I could have told the US stock market something ...

      Tulips ... or Jesuits?

      "Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man". I hope I'm wrong.

      1. JimmyPage Silver badge
        Boffin

        Those that do not study history ...

        are doomed to repeat it

        1. JimmyPage Silver badge

          And of course -

          The South Sea Bubble

          which is not a cat, owned by my aunt ....

  34. John Ford
    Facepalm

    Trash

    Given most of the ads I've seen on facebook are of the scammy 'you've just won an iPad!' or 'You have a secret admirer, click here to find who' variety it's no surprise people aren't clicking. There's a finite amount of morons. I suspect those kind of companies don't pay their bills either.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "There's a finite amount of morons"

      But one would be forgiven for thinking otherwise, as although finite, the number of morons is colossal.

  35. Ian Ferguson
    FAIL

    Wow, really?

    I wonder how her customers have taken that statement.

    Her customers are, of course, the advertising companies. Facebook users are merely assets.

  36. Jediben
    Joke

    All aboard the good ship Facebook. Full steam ahead!

    First Zuckerberg, now Sandberg. Next up: ICEBERG!!!!

  37. Bob Vistakin
    FAIL

    Do no evil

    Google is a litte, ahem, different regarding this - and have a lot more experience. From support.google.com: "Publishers may not click their own ads or use any means to inflate impressions and/or clicks artificially, including manual methods.", and "Publishers may not ask others to click their ads or use deceptive implementation methods to obtain clicks. This includes, but is not limited to, offering compensation to users for viewing ads or performing searches, promising to raise money for third parties for such behavior or placing images next to individual ads."

  38. adam payne Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Well Sheryl Sandberg (Chief Operating Officer) I have a one word answer for you.

    NO!

  39. Lallabalalla
    FAIL

    Click on ads?

    he can Zuck Off

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I block ads so sorry my dear, I won't even see them let alone be able to click on them!

  41. Armando 123
    Devil

    Personally

    I just mark all ads as sexually explicit. Imagine the marketing dweebs for Baby Gap seeing a bunch of those, consider the ensuing chaos, and tell me that doesn't bring a smile to your face.

  42. James Boag
    Thumb Up

    Am With Armando 123

    I've been marking all their ads as sexually explicit unless they are remotely sexually explicit, then i mark em uninteresting make me laugh every time

  43. h3

    This is advocating click fraud

    I thought asking people to click ad's was one of the great no-no s of web advertising.

    (Along with clicking your own ad's).

    She is basically advocating defrauding the people paying for advertising.

    It is click fraud I think.

    The only ad worth clicking is the one for the 55 gallon drum of personal lubricant.

    (The comments are hilarious on Amazon (US))

    (I hate ad's probably more than 99% of the population but I don't agree with Facebook doing this).

  44. pear

    FB adverts are s**te anyway

    They suggested that I "like" the Conservative party.

    Phools.

    Mostly I don't even notice them and use the desktop site less and less.

  45. Nehmo
    WTF?

    A Amateurish Request

    Asking users to click on ads is something low-level sites do in desperation. But people click because the ads interest them - not because they are charitable. It's FB's job to make the ads something people *want* to click upon. And, apparently, the software that decides which ads to serve isn't doing a good job.

    The onus is on FB - not it's users.

    `~- Nehmo

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