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Rogue Advertising on Facebook

April 4, 2008

“Hey, come play our game, too.”

Over the last month or so, some games have recognized the success of Parking Wars and are using its forums as an advertising medium for their own game. It’s an interesting form of free advertising that’s unfortunately making Parking Wars’ now 90K players moderately more than irritated. Players are miffed over what they perceive as forum spam disrupting their conversations about the game. Worse, they can’t do anything about it.

Is it having an effect? Hard to say. If it weren’t, the spammers would likely stop doing it. I am sure it does bring them traffic from the curious who wonder what the hell this game is all about.

Still, it violates some kind of social convention. It’s rude, and I can’t help but think that on a social network with social communities and basic understood social conventions, it has to also have some kind of cost.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 10, 2008 6:00 pm

    The reason why spam exists is the low cost to do it. The cost to copy-and-paste an ad on your forum? Next to nothing, especially if you don’t even have to register. So, if *anyone* responds, then the spam returns a net profit.

    This is one problem with the philosophy of lowering barriers to entry into games: it truly does let just about anyone in. And, while we are in the age of “more players means it’s a better game”, this does also allow the undesirables into the game, particularly people like spammers who have no interest in the game itself. This is bad because, as shown, it can cause disruption for the people that really do want to play the game.

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