Fake Profiles make Facebook Adverts a Shaky Investment

If you want to have virtual, free and zero-calorie bagels, a brand new shop opened on Facebook that might have just the thing you have been craving for. BBC recently conducted a survey to check how authentic the number of likes on Facebook adverts are. The BBC correspondent put up a fake Facebook page called VirtualBagel Ltd, while the page gave absolutely no information of any real value, it was successful in amassing more than 1600 likes in just a couple of hours. Now that the admin of VirtualBagel has revealed the backstory to the experiment, the page has more than 3000 likes. The page also jokingly says, ” Don’t say VirtualBagel doesn’t offer you fabulous content! You can download this latest bagel for absolutely nothing – and it’s guaranteed low calorie.” Most of the initial fans of the fake page had fake profiles and came from India, Egypt, Indonesia and Philippines rather than US, UK and most of the mid-eastern countries where the Bagel page was  targeted.

In a Q&A session with a Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) spokesperson conducted by BBC, the social network said,  “Facebook offers the most targeted advertising of any medium. The targeting tools are there for a reason, and they work.” It seems that they do work most of the time but they are also misdirected and grossly spammed on occasions. The hype of Facebook’s Like button amassed the whole world soon after it was launched in April of 2010. It has rapidly become a tool to calculate popularity and productivity of enterprises.

So far, there are about 900 million facebook users, out of these 5-6% profiles are fake . This amounts to about 54 million users. When Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) was asked for an opinion over the burgeoning number of fake identities, they see it as a non-issue as apparently none of the advertisers who have collected positive results reported problems of hollow profiles. Facebook uses its own automated system and user reports to slash these ghost profiles.

This was not first issue that showed doubts over the real use of adverts in Facebook and how productive they can be from a revenue generating point of view. A social media marketing consultant, Michael Tinmouth also faced issues when his clients reported that their ads are being liked by fake profiles. There are ghosts on Facebook that were liking as much as 3000-5000 pages at one time. Facebook’s response to Mr.Tinmouth inquiries was that his advertising strategy was not targeting any specific market, which is actually a debatable point because when the VirtualBagel Ltd was targeted to only UK market, the click-through and liking rate fell to only 10% of the previous value.

Just recently Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) showed signs of posting as many as 10 ads on a single page to increase their revenues from advertising. The social media giant will also test the limits of privacy and track your App practices over the web to post relevant ads on your mobile Facebook. As the authenticity of Facebook adverts is under scrutiny, the company is putting major revenue to expand its hold in the advertising market.