Strong opinions, weakly held

Why stickiness is obsolete

Chris Dixon explains why Facebook isn’t making more money:

Facebook has tons of visitors but they generally come to socialize, not to buy things, and they rarely click on ads that take them to other sites. Facebook is like a Starbucks where everyone hangs out for hours but almost never buys anything.

The thing that’s most telling is that the ads you see on Facebook are almost always very low quality ads.


  1. You’d think this would also encourage media sites to think about including more offsite links, instead of being violently allergic to them the way they are now. (The NY Times habit of linking keywords ONLY to stories or searches on their own site is pretty bad, for instance… hello, there’s a whole world out there and the NYT doesn’t know everything about all of it.)

    You want people to be willing to leave. Pageviews don’t pay the bills.

  2. Long time listener, first time caller ;-/

    Your title distorts the message of Dixon’s post. To wit, “The revenue gap between sites like Facebook and Google should narrow over time. … Expect the online Starbucks of the future to have a lot more – and more effective – ads.” So stickiness isn’t necessarily obsolete per se in terms of revenue generation. Maybe it’s just gathering itself for a big push.

  3. I’m not sure I agree with his conclusion, though. I think that intent-generating advertising may be obsolete, too. Certainly it seems like when advertisers can measure the effectiveness of their ads, they prefer doing so rather than doing basic brand advertising.

  4. I just dug up this article I read a while ago: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-and-twitter-will-always-be-crappy-businesses-2010-2

    I think it complements the point Dixon makes – that a place like Facebook doesn’t attract too many users with purchasing intent – with the observation that they’re not a great place for brand advertising either: it’s very risky to do brand advertising on a page of user-generated content.

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