If you’re interested, read this article Big Brands Like Facebook, But They Don’t Like to Pay from the Wall St Journal about how Ford Motor Co. used a ‘free’ Facebook page (oh, and $95 million dollars in other advertising, 5% of that on Facebook) to launch a muppet called Doug to sell a new car model.

Very interesting in what it reveals about how Facebook is perceived by big corporates/advertisers, and how it is valued … on what basis:

Facebook’s estimated market value, now in the neighborhood of $70 billion, is founded on the belief that companies will spend big to advertise on the site. Facebook’s revenues, which come largely from ads, were $1.6 billion in the first half of this year, up $800 million from a year earlier.
But most of its ads were for small advertisers, such as local businesses and small-scale websites, according to comScore Inc. Facebook is under pressure to grow its advertising on a grand scale, and to snag the sort of big brand names who now drive billions of dollars to TV, radio and print campaigns.

and this:

In addition to using Facebook’s free tools, Ford said, the company was gradually increasing its ad spending on the site and recently closed its largest ad deal with Facebook. But because of the social nature of the site, Mr. Kelly said, “it doesn’t require Ford to spend large dollars on splashy ads to engage customers.”
Facebook, meanwhile, is “building our business for the long term,” said Mr. Fischer, turning down ads that compromise the user experience.

It’s a good article for geeks like me … and those interested in/working in online gold-panning services.

– P