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Gil Laroya

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Are Social Websites Becoming More Commercial Than Social?

Posted: 06/14/2012 4:09 pm

The other day, while I was in a local store picking up a few personal items, I noticed something printed on the side of a can of bug spray.

It said "Like us on Facebook!" My immediate reaction was nothing short of "really... bug spray???"

It has always been safe to assume that a social media site like Facebook was meant for people to gather, chat, talk, and share ... but in today's world, it appears that even your friendly social website isn't safe from the horns of commerce.

People generally now know the story behind Facebook's roots; Harvard computer science student starts a website to allow fellow students to meet and share information. The site use spreads to other colleges, and so on, and so on... until the point where Facebook is today, with well over 800 million members worldwide.

With such popularity, it was only a matter of time before marketing wolves (some of them being within Facebook's own walls, no doubt) began to see dollar signs. The holy grail of Internet commercialization -- find a large gathering of users with the assumption that each of them has money to spend, and show them really cool stuff to spend their hard-earned dollars on.

Many would argue that Mark's dream of "enabling everyone in the world to share with each other via Facebook," has been sold out to companies looking to leverage the huge number of his members to sell products and services. So, in essence, has the local church bulletin board succumb to the purveyors of corporate greed? Others would say that the commercialization of Facebook was only a matter of time; that every large website has to make money somehow.

It just strikes me as odd, that anything from automobiles to bug spray can and will find their way into social media.

I guess in my own nostalgic thinking, it feels like my local bulletin board isn't as sacred as it used to be.

"Really... bug spray???" How do you "like" bug spray???

 
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