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In the movie Social Network, Sean Parker tells Mark Zuckerberg what makes Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) cool is the lack of ads. Ah! If only every well-funded startup could operate without those pesky things called business models. Unfortunately, Facebook’s inability to find a new scalable revenue stream has forced the once super clean platform to slowly clutter our personal social graph with an increasing amount of commercials.
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The newest “big business experiment” on Facebook is branded advertorial bylines for sponsors. That’s fancy advertising industry speak for commercials pretending to be authentic content. Yes, Orwell and Huxley just rolled over.
Anyhow, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Buzzfeed are teaming up to test the petri dish, oops, I mean your social graph with their new trick. Although the idea has potential, the real question remains whether Facebook can remain “cool” or at what point will all this desperate monetization voodoo start turning off the loyal platform users who have been trained to expect a clean and non-intrusive experience when connecting with friends and family? Time will tell, but it’s early days to assume Facebook can keep their user base if they keep moving in the over-commercialized direction.
Shares of Facebook are trading up 43 cents at $31.84 per share prior to the closing bell Tuesday.
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