By Robb Hicken/ BBB’s chief storyteller
It was astounding the number of senior citizens in the Eagles Club meeting hall in Boise who said they use social media.
Of the 130-plus people attending the luncheon, a third raised their hands to show they use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Google+. And, two-thirds of those people were using social media daily.
“I get on it every day to see what my grand kids are doing,” says a gray-haired woman in the back of the room. “They post such cute pictures of themselves.”
Of the 40 senior users, only about a quarter of them said they post pictures on a regular basis (once a week).
And, when I asked them how many received a check or compensation for being a “product” personality, no one spoke out. So, I explained.
Personal product promoting is the latest attempt by Facebook and Google to generate advertising revenue for the massive audiences they draw. Here’s how it works: Google grabs your photo and places it into and ads when your friends and contacts do a Google search on Google Play and YouTube. Those friends could be duped into believing you endorsed a product or service because of it.
“Sponsored Stories” are a similar product performed by Facebook, in that your face appears next to articles of interest you “like.”
The question is whether its legal, and whether or not the “face” in the advertisement should be compensated.
There’s not much chance of getting around the fact you gave Facebook, or another social media site, permission to use your pictures when you signed in. (Problem is you whizzed right through it. The second problem is the social media sites change permission rights, send out updates, and again, you whiz right through them without really understanding the changes.)
So, now you understand, you don’t want someone using your picture to promote their product.
When Instagram said it would be giving photos to Facebook, users were given an opt out function. Google has an out-opt button (though it doesn’t apply to Google Play). You can’t opt out of Facebook, according to bloggers.
Making wise choices on your “like” – especially in Google and Facebook – will slow down this uses. Also, read carefully the privacy agreements before you sign (or mark the box).
If social media sites charged an admission or subscription fee, it may be reason to complain, and seek compensation. But the service is free.