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Face à Facebook

13/09/2007 - par Mark Tungate

This will go down in my personal history as « la rentrée Facebook ». Suddenly, everyone is on it, everyone has an opinion about it, and everyone is trying to work out how they can use it to their advantage. Forget My Space, which has become the domain of struggling musicians and record labels flogging their latest merchandise. Facebook is a clever synthesis of networking, online dating and sheer entertainment. If you haven't signed up yet, a word of advice : don't. The thing is as addictive as coke.

I signed up out of curiosity, and was amazed to see how many of my friends and contacts already had Facebook sites. It was as if they were members of a club they were ashamed to speak about. Now I'm doing several lines a day. I'm sending my friends daft pictograms that are supposed to be free gifts, and I'm posting micro-updates of my life like « Mark is scratching his nose », or « Mark is popping out to the supermarket. » And of course, all my friends are doing the same, giving me the spooky feeling that I am monitoring the activities of my nearest and dearest in (almost) real time. The Truman Show is here, and we created it for ourselves.

The big question is whether Facebook is a real medium, in the advertising sense of the term. When I looked at the site just now, it served me ads for Maif and Kickers. But I had to check, because until I began writing this article I hadn't noticed them at all. And that's a problem, isn't it ?

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