Facebook View Tags - the Emperor and his new tags?

Knock knock
>Who's there?
>> View Tag
>>>View Tag who?
>>>Wait... you're not a view tag!

That might be lamest joke I, or anyone has ever written! My 3 daughters (who are 9,9 and 6) can and will do better than that on a regular basis. My favorite of theirs right now is 'why was the broom late for work? - Because it over swept' :) Now that's funny.

To justify my crappy joke, I am going to pretend I was being clever and wanted to make a point about how equally lame our industry is being about Facebook's new View Tag.

The general idea of the tag is to be able to see and measure the conversions that place after an ad has been shown to an individual, but who did not click on the ad itself. Wow, what an invention!!


Because it sounds exactly like the concept of view-thru / post-impression tracking that has been occurring within display advertising almost since its inception. It baffles me why blogs like AllFacebook are seeing this as such a revolution when it is more a case of Facebook playing catchup. As an industry we are delighted this is happening because Facebook will add weight to the argument about the validity of view-thru as the real metric for digital media, one that I care a lot about:

If you are new to this concept, I strongly suggest you read the white paper listed above because we cover a lot of the basics you need to know. But the headlines to catch you up are that the click means nothing in digital display, we can and should track the impact of simply exposing an individual to an ad, and we can do that with very standard tools (including DoubleClick, Atlas etc).

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE that Facebook are doing this, it's really important for FBX, it is the coverage from the industry that is screwed up.

As Youna on my San Francisco team just stated - "it's when pie-a-la-mode is better than pie with ice cream". Indeed.


Additional thought. Having read a lot of the comments about their new View Tags, it seems Facebook will be taking the shit from marketers and consumers that don't understand what VT is at all. Comments like 'facebook are now going to claim that even without a click, their ads have value, just won't fly' are going to be common. As a regular speaker on the subject I sympathize with their PR team who is going to have wade through this garbage and try and educate the market about what advertising is, and then why this isn't some sort of con!

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