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Facebook’s Sandberg: In The Future, All Media Will Be Personalized

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There will always be a place for mass marketing, but in the next three- to five years, a website that isn’t tailored to a specific user’s interest will be an anachronism, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told Arianna Huffington at the latter’s Advertising Week event. “People don’t want something targeted to the whole world — they want something that reflects what they want to see and know,” she said. Sandberg and Huffington also discussed Facebook’s privacy issues and a certain movie being released this weekend.

Facebook has had its share of controversy over its terms of use and what exactly members are keeping and giving away when it comes to posting and sharing their personal information. “Our policy on privacy is that everything on Facebook is belongs to our members — we don’t sell it,” she said. “But we want you to share it with as few or as many people as you want. We want to give people control. Web products are complicated. We want people to realize how much control over their personal information on Facebook.”

Huffington also asked for Sandberg’s thoughts on the Facebook movie coming out this weekend. Stiffening a bit, Sandberg said, “I saw it a few months ago.” She added that she thought the film was “very fun, but it was very “Hollywood. It is a work of fiction. If The Social Network were true, it would only show how much pizza Zuckerberg ordered during the formation of Facbook. But you can’t show that for two hours.”

During the Q&A, ClickZ‘s Kate Kaye asked whether Facebook Connect would be turning into an ad network. Sandberg said the company isn’t working on an ad network. “We have a lot of ads to sell already,” she said, suggesting there was no need to extend that to the sites that Facebook members use their IDs to sign into.

5 Responses to “Facebook’s Sandberg: In The Future, All Media Will Be Personalized”

  1. Excellent topic! While large companies need to figure out how to maximize the ROI from the 10’s and 100’s of millions they’ve invested in interactive marketing technology, smaller companies face an entirely different challenge — how to take advantage of today’s interactive marketing trends with limited budgets and internal resources (staff & expertise). Small and mid-size companies don’t have the luxury of using a shotgun approach to marketing. They need a properly developed and executed interactive marketing strategy that hits its mark and delivers tangible results and measurable ROMI (return on marketing investment). We’re finding that the desire to tap into the viral marketing power of social media is shared by most of our clients today (large and small).

    @augieray at Forrester Research published an interesting article back in Dec. 2009 titled “2010: The Year Marketing Dies…” I would rename it to “2010: The Year [Marketing As We Know It] Dies… Looks like at least some of his predictions are coming true.


  2. I do take issue with it. I like some personalization. But I also believe in commonality. This piece may go a little too far: — but this passage is well worth thinking about:

    “The staff critic binds society together, if only by giving everyone someone to disagree with. The new, unknown critic splits audiences into interest groups. The critic starves on $125 a review; artists and audiences, starved of comprehensive coverage, drift into separate, solipsistic twilights.”

    Separate, solipsistic twilights. That is what I am afraid of. Do we really want this?

  3. mschmidlen

    While I certainly don’t/can’t take any issue with your basic premise about personalization, I would like to offer that your 3-5 year time-line is WAY OUT OF PROPORTION TO REALITY as the technology to enable this degree of personalization exists TODAY and will be implemented in the next 12-24 months, at the most, both on the web and with mobile.

    We’d *LOVE* to talk to Facebook about this technology but have found resistance to the message because:
    a) it CAN’T be done (as opposed to it hasn’t been done YET) and
    b) NIH (not invented here) Syndrome, which is truly pandemic in Corporate America. We spend 10’s, 100’s of millions (or billions) of money on R&D and if WE can’t figure it out, IT CAN’T BE DONE…famous last words!