Watching the Money Programme talking about Facebook and the huge amounts of data they are collecting and able to use for marketing purposes; I was rather puzzled how they seem to completely miss the point of how to make these things work.
People go to Facebook because it doesn't shove ads in your face all the time. Yet all their plans (from what I've read) seem to involve doing just that. The pressure of those sky high valuations appears to be clouding their judgement.
Have they not seen what has happened to Myspace? The decline of Myspace as 'the place to be' is almost directly proportional to the increasing amount of overt advertising and Fox promotional links that have appeared since Rupert Murdoch took it over.
Have they not worked out that THE reason for Google making so much money so quickly was that it found a way to display high-income ads without disrupting the user experience.
The only advertisers that have really worked on Myspace and Facebook are those that embrace the community instead of standing there with Golf Sale signs in front of their way. We can do that in the outside world, but these are places people come to get away from that...
Also: Though the different gadgets and tools you can get on Facebook massively enhance it, they are also quickly increasing the thing that is now choking myspace. Namely "Forward this or you crush will hate you", "Pass this to twenty friends and something cool will happen", "This picture says I am your friend please pass it on". Argh! People who come up with these things deserve to be rounded up and chucked off a bridge...