Your new nightmare: Facebook ads everywhere

Now that Facebook's ads and sponsored stories will appear on Zynga, be prepared for them appearing, well, anywhere and everywhere. This may well be more painful than you could imagine.

"I just bought 10 new hoodies." James Martin/CNET

There's one thing your life has been missing: reading your favorite news site, gossip site or filthy cartoon site and learning that your friend Willy has just bought himself two pounds of Camembert and some Campbell's pea soup.

Thankfully, Facebook is hurtling to your rescue.

It was a delicate development this week that Facebook's ads and sponsored stories will begin to appear on Zynga .

Zynga is a natural progression from Facebook. It's almost a part of Facebook. Nothing to be concerned about here.

And yet it just so happens that Facebook likes to really get to know you.

It tries to improve its collective, sharing good by following you everywhere it can on the Web like a sniffy puppy and taking that information back to its kennel.

It's doing it just for you, you understand. It knows that you are a disturbed human being without better ads adorning your day and it will do is very darndest to give them to you.

Of course, there's some debate as to whether Facebook ads are very effective. They are, in their way, frightfully discreet and emotionally unengaging -- perhaps a reflection of the company's founder.

Some large clients have already felt they could do without them .

Yet we are surely less than an Olympic triple jump away from you wafting around your favorite online shopping site, only to discover that your friend Janice has already bought two green tank tops and a pair of pink pleated shorts.

Naturally, Facebook would like to remind you that you'll only get sponsored stories about activity your friends have already told you about. But given that you only see around 12 percent of your friends' Facebook posts , it's highly likely you won't have seen this activity.

Still, Facebook's management are people who have your interests at heart. Why, only the other week I received a friendly e-mail from the company telling me that I must rush to the site because so many of my friends had been poking me. I even had 5 alleged friend requests.

This turned out to be, well, entirely untrue. In fact, every link in the e-mail sent me to a page where I could, gosh, meet new friends.

When I contacted Facebook about this blatant bait-and-switch, the company confirmed that it had sent me the e-mail. It didn't answer any other questions, such as "Why are you sending me e-mails with patently false information?"

There is, though, something of an inevitability about Facebook ads appearing everywhere. The company has so much of your information that it needs to monetize it as swiftly as it can.

The nightmare for many will lie not only in seeing such ads enjoy the constant presence currently only associated with Kim Kardashian.

No, these ads will do terrible things to your mind. You won't be able to get away from the knowledge that your friends might be more interesting than you are.

You will be constantly reminded of their latest purchases, their latest interests, their latest affection for 55-gallon tubs of personal lube or their latest caving vacations.

Soon, Facebook's hope is, you will be liking lube and craving caving.

But this will be merely be Keeping up with the Joneses taken to a steroidal extreme. The more you try to live your own life, the more Facebook will remind you of how much more exciting it could be.

Your own personal capitalist horror movie will unfold on a daily basis like a Blair Witch Project that never ends. The cast, instead of being anonymous actors, will be those whom you claim to be your friends. Facebook won't even have to pay them for the privilege.

And all this to raise a share price. I'm sorry, I meant to make the world more open and connected.

 

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