Just recently, GazeHawk, one of the leaders in eye-tracking technology, joined Facebook in working on expanding their platform by using their world-class-technology in creating more catchy and effective webpages. What GazeHawk does is they use personal webcams on volunteers’ computers to record where their eyes travel to when they first open up a webpage, a blog, a Google search, or etc. This would be very effective for Facebook as it would allow them to rearrange their pages to better influence and capture their social-media crazy audience, and bank the buck.
So how does this relate to everyday Joe’s like you and me? Well for example, all through last semester I was looking for simple black flats that were business appropriate, yet date cute. Through my research online, I triggered the Facebook ad campaigns to be targeted to me, and ever since all I get on my Facebook is shoe deals of all sorts, and more and more shoes, shoes, shoes! But is this really effective?
I would say no these ads are not effective, for I myself have not once clicked on them, and have found them always to be annoying and bothersome! I would much rather have an ad about an event a friend is going to, or some music that they are listening to, than an ad from a corporation trying to sell me some shoes. And, what do you know, the eye-tracking technology proves the same, as it shows that most people do not look at the right hand side of webpages (the part where ads are usually listed).
As you can see in this study, most people only look at the news feed, status updates, and profile pictures of people, just from time to time glancing at the left hand side. Therefore, in the near future with the use of GazeHawk, the Facebook interface will likely change, and involve more interactive webpages, with advertisements in your news feed, or even better advertisements of things your friends are buying and supporting. So look out for these changes in the near future, and expect the unexpected.