BBC carried out an investigation on the effectiveness of Facebook. Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC technology correspondent, setup a fake business on Facebook – VirtualBagel, spent $10 on promoting the business and ended up getting 3,113 “likes” with just an image of a Bagel and an address Ealing, London.
The investigation report has found that ‘likes’ in countries like Egypt and Philippines were just over the roof top as compared to countries like US and UK. Social media marketing consultant, Michael Tinmouth, is of the opinion that Facebook’s targeting system might not be up to scratch.
His experience states that when companies target global audience through advertisements, the responses were more or less from specific areas only. According to him,
“They were 13 to 17 years old, the profile names were highly suspicious, and when we dug deeper a number of these profiles were liking 3,000, 4,000, even 5,000 pages.”
According to the findings, people who have actually ‘liked’ something on Facebook have found to be lying about their personal details. Further, it was also found that many of the profiles were fake and were used by scammers to spread spam.
Facebook had earlier revealed that around 5-6% of profiles on the social network were fake. This accounts for nearly 54 million profiles. Facebook has said that it hasn’t seen evidence of any significant problems.
Graham Cluley at Sophos thinks otherwise and according to him “Spammers and malware authors can mass-produce false Facebook profiles to help them spread dangerous links and spam, and trick people into befriending them”.
Cluley said that they are aware that many of the profiles have been created by computer software that is being controlled by a single person. With issuance of a single command the person is able to generate thousands of likes thus creating a large community.
When inquired, Facebook spokesman told the BBC:
“We don’t see evidence of a ‘wave of likes’ coming from fake users or ‘obsessive clickers’.”