So where does all this Sturm und Drang leave us?
There are several truths that can be discerned through the fog:
- The user experience simply sucks for many of the offers promoted on Facebook games. A player may face 10 or more screens of pop-ups, questionnaires and forms before they qualify for their incentive, and many of the continuity programs are very clever about hiding their terms in plain sight.
- Facebook is now big enough to care more about the users than about the revenue from scammy offers. They’re in the big leagues now and if networks want to keep playing in the Facebook sandpit, they’re going to have to learn to play nice.
- Advertisers are not dumb, so they’re clearly getting value from the offers they are promoting and the leads that are generated. No doubt they will be using this scandal to push prices for leads and conversions down, and the networks and game developers will be incentivized to push the envelope even harder…until something breaks. If the networks and offer management companies can’t find a way to align the interests of their advertisers with those of the users, Facebook will do it for them. It will end in tears.