BR Video: Public see little point in becoming fans of brands on Facebook

LONDON - While reluctant to become fans of a brand on Facebook, people don't feel that brands are intruding on their experience of the site, according to members of the public interviewed in the latest BR Video.

Facebook said last week that each day 10 million people globally sign up to a fan page, many of which have been started by brands looking to become part of their customers' Facebook experiences. Coca-Cola, Skittles and Starbucks' pages rank in the top 15 overall fan pages.

In the wake of this, we decided to ask people whether they have become a fan of brand on Facebook in the latest Vox Pops International produced BR Video.

The overwhelming response from those interviewed was no, perhaps a sign of how difficult it is to overcome British consumers' scepticism.

Just one man said he was "possibly" an Xbox fan, which allows him to show his allegiance to the console.

He said: "It's not that I'm getting any information out of it ... it lets other people know what I'm in to as opposed to me having to tell them."

But others questioned what they would gain from becoming a fan of a brand and said that they didn't see the point of it. A couple pointed out that they would be more likely to become fans of musicians.

One, a journalist, said: "[Becoming a fan of a brand] kind of negates what Facebook is about ... it's about socialising ... I don't really care about people's opinions on what flavour pasty they like from Greggs."

Despite the negativity, people didn't complain when they were asked "do you think brands are intruding on your experience of Facebook?"

Almost all said no. One girl remarked "It's just marketing isn't it?" and a consultant said she knows Facebook always puts advertising on the right hand side of the page but she doesn't ever look at it.

The journalist said he was more likely to be annoyed by other users than brands: "If I do get fed up with seeing seven people become a fan of Fanta then my eyebrows are raised more towards the people that are becoming fans rather than the fact that Fanta are on there."