Facebook’s Big Changes as Seen Through “The Truman Show”

April 23, 2010

Pretty significant and aggressive changes announced by Facebook this week, right? Marketers should be grinning from ear to ear. More user information is soon to be available and that means more targeted, niche advertising.

Think about the last time you updated your interests on your profile; chances are it’s been awhile. Now, by “connecting with your friends on your favorite websites” all “Likes” will be included in profiles. Think about it – you’re more likely to hit the “Like” button for a movie on IMDB than log in to your profile and add the film to your interests. This will be big.

Also, any Web page can now become a part of Facebook’s Open Graph and that means more interactive sites for all. As an agency that helps brands reach fans on Facebook, this is good for us and it’s good for the brands. But …

I wanted to do something rather melodramatic and ridiculous and address the possible reaction of an angry user. It’s Friday, right? So, if you would be so kind, please follow along and watch the ending of “The Truman Show” with me as I imagine Truman as a Facebook user who has had it up to here with the site after this week’s changes. A little intro: Facebook and the Web know everything about Truman and want to know more, but dammit, Truman’s had enough. Here we go:

:28 – This is when Truman stumbles upon the official Facebook blog on Wednesday and reads about all of the new changes announced at the f8 Conference. Enough is enough! Truman pounds his clenched fist on his desk.

1:17 – Truman is mad and decides that he won’t hold it in any longer. “You know everything about me, Facebook. Let me free!”

2:49 – Mark Zuckerberg wants to interject and try to convince him to stay. He exhales.

3:08 – Truman is on the very edge of leaving Facebook for good — he’s had enough of Big Brother.

3:20 – “Who are you?” Truman asks.

3:21 – “I’m the creator of a social network that brings hope, joy and inspiration to millions,” responds Zuckerberg.

3:37 – “You’re the star, we want everything to be about you.”

3:55 – “There’s no more truth out there than there is on Facebook with me.”

4:05 – “I see your lies, your deceit. In my world, you have nothing to fear, you can be social.”

4:14 – “I know you better than you know yourself!!!”

4:40 – “I was watching when you signed up with us in college.”

4:45 – “I was watching when you created your first group.”

4:52 – “I was watching when you fought with your girlfriend on your wall that one time and all your friends could see.”

4:57 – “The time we sold targeted ad space to a marketer that directed an ad at you because you listed adidas running shoes in your interests.”

5:04 – “You can’t leave. I just made this damn thing bigger than ever.”

5:19 – “Please talk to me. I need to know if you like Lady Gaga’s new song on Pandora, Truman. I need to know if you’ll like the new kayaking community page. I need to know if you’ll go social shopping for your next pair of Levi’s.”

5:27 – “Say something, dammit! You’re live to all the marketers in the world.”

5:54 – “Screw you, man. I’ve had enough. Enjoy all my demographic data.”

6:07 – Girlfriend Truman has been neglecting is excited because she’ll get more attention now.

6:26 – “Yes, Truman! The anti-Facebook movement is proud!”

6:39 – Zuckerberg is upset because he succumbed to all the ad dollars and lost Truman for good.

6:46 – “Delete account,” says the Man.

The end. Boy, that was pretty fun. But in all seriousness, can we expect these new changes to possibly have an adverse effect? I don’t think we’ll see many users actually play out this Truman scenario, but I can see some. And I can also see the movement gaining more momentum the next time more changes like this week’s are announced; a small society that will pick up steam. Users and marketers alike will use these new plugins, but I wonder if the success is sustainable or if we’ll have no choice but to see and oblige to Facebook everywhere we go. We’ll see.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, if you liked that clip from “The Truman Show” you can now “Like” it on YouTube and it will synch to your profile for all your friends to see! How about that for some irony?