Facebook’s product placement photos

Facebook announced a new addition to its photo tagging service yesterday (11th May), enabling users of the ubiquitous social network to tag Pages in photos. Facebook suggests that the addition of Pages tagging will help its users “to share richer stories with friends about the things they interact with in the real-world, such as businesses, brands, celebrities, and musicians”.

In practice this means Facebook’s 600 million users can now tag everything from the soft drink can in their hand to the jeans they are wearing, effectively becoming micro social brand ambassadors in the process.

The product placement opportunities are obvious, and we can no doubt expect to se a flurry of celebrities casually promoting brands in their photos. However, the really interesting part comes when user photos are issued publicly on the service, enabling them to land directly on the brand’s Facebook page.

Naturally this new opportunity can swing both ways, with many brands set to benefit from casual association and endorsement from the general public, while others may not want to be inundated with photos of consumers pictured with their product who do not fit their target audience.

The social media war rooms of major brands just got an extra employee – the photo analyser - forever hovering with their figure on ‘delete this update’.

As for the general public we await with baited breath – will, with mild interest at least – for the person who turns their next night out into the equivalent of Lady Gaga’s Telephone video, with an onslaught of obvious product references.

Juts how many brands can you fit into one picture? I think we're about to find out...

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