Now that Facebook and Twitter are public companies they are of course hungry for a bigger slice of the advertising pie. But-and it is a big but- they did not fundamentally start out as commercial spaces so they are have to innovate and come up with new advertising formats like “native ads” and “Likes” to get revenue to satisfy their shareholders. Thats ok- if they create formats with real value then they deserve a bigger slice.
Unfortunately these things can be “gamed”
The web – lovely and fascinating though it is – also a place for hucksters and scammers or , if you look at the so-called dark web , much worse. It is a world of link farms and low paid workers sitting behind screens and generating bullshit interest in brands (and other entities looking for business or audience) in return for a few pence.
I don’t blame Facebook. They don’t control the behaviour of others. Nobody can control the scammers.
But this short film explains some of the perils of this and in particular lifts the lid on how likes can be hyped to the point of being meaningless
BTW- it is worth adding that this is an age old problem of new advertising formats which can take a while before they become credible/respectable. In the early days of the poster industry there was a lot of “misreporting”
( to put it at its least libellous). I remember meeting “poster guys” in the Dog and Duck in soho and feeling that there was something a bit dodgy going on. This was the 1980s I stress – all very above board now.