I am back from vacation, and it was very rejuvenating. To totally relax this time I spent few free minutes between activities on some casual gaming, mostly on Facebook and Steam. I have been a long fan of Steam, but the improvements in Facebook games were a surprise for me. I love how Steam lets you purchase digitally and then just install and play on your different computers, as much as needed, with no discs to store or find.
My main observation is that Facebook gaming finally starting to realize the social aspect. Some in pure competitive fashion (like highest score in Biggest Brain), while many others are all about socializing (YoVille) and sharing gifts and showing off Farms and Restaurants you built. It is good fun and a new way to “stay in touch” with people you care about.
Onto the main topic – Facebook gained major momentum for our family during this season’s family vacation. We met many family members in-person, and most of their kids already had Facebook (what’s with silly 13 years old limit on Facebook?). So my kids signed up and were able to connect to their relatives and stay in touch, even though they often meet in-person once a year or less!
But, with all the benefits, I got really worried today. Earlier I became a fan of Lily Allen on Facebook. I really love her fun and honest lyrics, combined excellent music style. So what do I see right after? “Love Lily Allen – Check This Out” Ad appearing on Facebook. Clearly targeted, no doubt and once I clicked it, it took me straight into iTunes to some singer’s album, I never heard of!
I haven’t decided if this a benefit or a burden? It is definitely strange how Facebook doesn’t use same common sense to stop pitching me “Dating” sites, since my profile clearly indicates “Married”!!!
If they approach this carefully, it can be real boon for Advertisers. Facebook knows my real location (home address, and sometimes mobile location via Facebook Mobile on iPhone), and my likes/dislikes. I am Papa Johns pizza fan on there also, how long before other pizzerias will start bombarding me with their best offers to win me over? Rather scary… A good short Sci-Fi story comes to mind. You can listen to it for free on the excellent EscapePod.org (warning, rated R). That’s where I heard it, along with Advertising Warfare concept mentioned.