“Facebooked” as a verb has been around forever in internet time, referring to the practice of HR professions seeking information on people as part of their hiring due diligence. It’s starting to take on a new meaning for marketing types. Blogger Jeremiah Owyang was tipped off to a new console game release called Prototype by Chris Pan of Facebook. The Protoype game’s website goes beyond personalization by linking ads with in-game content, or allowing users to upload their pictures to create e-postcards as JibJab does. Prototype’s website asks users to log in using their Facebook credentials, and uses profile photos and other Facebook profile information to create a trailer customized for the viewer.
Below is my experience with the Prototype site, which I encourage you to try yourself here.
What was fascinating from the beginning is how minimal the initial investment in time is. Simply log into Facebook and the website does the rest. No photo uploads, no questionairres..
Once you log in, the loading sequence begins. It takes a while, but it’s worth the wait…
Once The sequence began, a movie-like clip began playing…
and of course I showed up as well. It’s hard not to be drawn into the experience when you see yourself in it…
It’s a bit hard to see because of the masking, so here’s the original photo …
The information doesn’t simply include my own picture uploads, but also uploads from friends’ photo albums (which I haven’t posted here for obvious reasons). The video also incorporates profile information. Funny enough watching the video made me realize I needed to update my home location on Facebook.
Anyway, here are my key takeaways from the experience:
- Asking for logins will become commonplace. Using existing Facebook requires minimal time investment, cutting abandonment.
- Viral is the new norm. These After the personalized experience, users are likely to invite friends to watch (or even *ahem* blog about the experience) if invited to. Protoype asks you to share the website with your friends at the end of the playback.
- Marketers will increasingly bundle the extended network. The marketing message is powerful if you bundle it with the user’s data, but even more powerful when you include photos, videos, and profile information from connections (friends). I found myself running the video a couple of times to see if other friends would show up. They did.
- Expect Orwellian / Big Brother argument to pick up as personalized viral marketing beomces more commonplace. there will probably be plenty of initial freak outs, but objections will become less commonplace as contextual ads become more commonplace.
- Cross-network advertising is still a question mark. If meta logins (OpenID) pick up steam, expect a number of contextual marketing campaigns to ask for a meta ID and include content from a number of social networks. Someone will probably try to combine Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and other networks rolled into one spot in the not too distant future.
- Someone’s political campaign will probably follow suit, rolling out videos which pull at the heartstrings using your own data. An appeal asking for support for health care reform is more powerful if superimposed on pictures of family members, but I suspect most users will be far more wary of providing a politician’s website with Facebook credentials. Game sites are far more innocuous.