A survey conducted by the blog Inside Facebook has uncovered some interesting statistics about advertisements on the popular social networking site and how users react to them. Surprisingly, according to the results of the survey, the majority of Facebook users either like or are neutral about the presence of ads on the site, as only 40.3% said they dislike the ads. What did these users say are the most disliked products advertised on the site? Online dating services.
When Inside Facebook asked users which product they least like seeing ads for on Facebook, respondents chose online dating sites nearly twice as often as any other type of ad. At 46%, online dating sites were the far-and-away leader above educational and job ads, at 24.6%, games at 13.5%, and movies and TV shows at 8.7%. The most acceptable category of ads among those that dislike the ads were food and beverage ads; just over 7% disliked them the most.
While it’s surprising that dating services are the most detested among Facebook ads, it does make sense. Dating ads can tend to be some of the most transparent of advertisements online, especially on a site like Facebook, which has info about your sexual preference, age and location, depending on privacy settings. Though the ads are trying to create a personalized experience, when users see ads for meeting singles in their town within their age range, the ads seem intrusive and creepy.
There also may be a correlation between how users approach Facebook and their distaste for dating site advertisements. From my personal experience with online dating and matchmaking sites, I can attest that your activity on the site is not something you tend to share with many of your friends. With Facebook’s recent concerns over privacy, users may be afraid to associate their online dating activities with their personal social graph on Facebook.
The survey by Inside Facebook also found that advertisements that linked to sites outside of Facebook were less liked by respondents. Nearly two-thirds said they dislike ads for outside links the most as opposed to links to Facebook fan pages or events. An advertisement for Coca-Cola, for example, is preferred when it is an add for Coca-Cola’s fan page, not for an outside site run by the company. Perhaps dating sites need to advertise their fan pages, but something tells me that wouldn’t go over well either.