on Sunday, January 27th, 2008
I was trying not to write about facebook but it came to a point that it’s a good example for my post.
Classic web advertising for banners (in some cases text links) are still paid by impressions. Like the banners on the left column of Facebook pages, everytime user changes a page, an ad is shown, and the advertiser is charged per 1000 impressions. Everybody knows that there is nothing interesting with this.
Facebook, some weeks ago has changed their photo gallery to an ajax photo gallery.
Everytime you see a photo and start browsing to the other photos, without refreshing the page, an Ajax call was done and new photo was shown on the very same page. There was no refresh, therefore the rest of the page -as well as the banner on the left- were not changed.
Facebook recently switched back to their old way. One photo is 1 page view again. I wondered why? It was really obvious. They’ve lost major page views with just this change. On the old system, people were rapidly viewing photos spending (in most cases) no more than 15 seconds per photo. For an album of 20 photos, it was an easily generated 20 page views for them. New system, slowed down the page views but now the users were spending more time on the same page with the same banner. Still with the old metric, 1 page view for 20 photos.