Facebook pays users to view ads

May 06, 2011 by Katie Gatto weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- The general consensus is that end users hate ads. That is why companies either try to make them as unobtrusive as possible, such as the small ads you would find in the sidebar of a blog, or make them unavoidable, such as the full page splash screen ads that occur on page loads. Neither of these theories really gives the viewer a reason to engage in the ad, so success levels in online advertising campaigns can vary widely.

Facebook is trying to give users a reason to care about the , with a technique as old as civilization, bribery. Facebook is going to pay users in Credits if they choose to watch display ads on the site. Users will obviously not get rich off of watching ads, since each ad garners a user only 10 cents per view.

The ads will initially be tied to games. A group of Facebook's most popular , including Zynga, CrowdStar, and Digital Chocolate, have chosen to participate in the . This means very popular games, such as Farmville and Mafia Wars have the chance to draw a large pool of users into the paid-advertisement game. Once the initial ad is done, users are alerted that the earned a credit, and then have a choice to view more ads or go onto their game. Sadly, each ad requires a click, so you cannot simply open a new browser tab and let the ad roll while you work.

How users will respond to this small incentive is yet to be seen. At estimates coming out to between $2 and $3 for each hour of ad viewing, this reporter thinks it is unlikely that many users will watch more than one ad.

Explore further: Music site SoundCloud to start paying artists

More information: via Mashable

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User comments : 5

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iPan
3 / 5 (2) May 06, 2011
My experience with advertisement has taught me the following:

I hate being "forced" to watch ads. I don't like my autonomy being interfered with, if I want to watch the ad, I will. I am more likely to pay attention to an ad if I'm watching it voluntarily.

I only want to watch ads for products I'm actually interested in. If I'm not the target demographic, don't show me the ad.

I love clever advertisement. The old spice commercials were awesome, and I went to youtube just to see it.

I like interactive ads. The first time web pages started using pop out mouse over ads, I played around with them just because I thought they were neat.

The more these criteria are met, the more I will choose to watch, and even seek these advertisements.
Doug_Huffman
1 / 5 (1) May 06, 2011
FF4 AdBlock NoScript HTTPS-Everywhere TACO SeatBelt BetterPrivacy Vidalia Onion Router Net Enigmail OpenPGP Ghostery and 600 KB of HOSTS redirects of advertisers to 127.0.0.1

PhysOrg.asm will go this way soon enough, denying access to us that will not allow commercial content.
Isaacsname
not rated yet May 06, 2011
Sound too easily exploitable.
teledyn
4.5 / 5 (2) May 06, 2011
if they made the payments only redeemable within those loss-aversion addiction games like Farmville, I'll bet they would greatly enhance the profits in those games by expanding the number of users and drawing those users even deeper into game-debt. This is how civilization ends, folks.
rwinners
not rated yet May 08, 2011
I agree. If I see an ad for something that grabs my interest, I'll just open another tab and Bing it.