Sheryl Sandberg Defends Facebook’s Invisible Ads

Facebook applications don’t really do anything special yet. Neither, for that matter, do Facebook’s ads. But that’s OK, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg insisted yesterday at the D6 conference. Some of the applications, like Slide’s SuperPoke, are really popular. Just like Elvis, she says.The comparison fails on two counts.

First, we’ve listened to Elvis Presley, Ms. Sandberg, and SuperPoke is no Elvis Presley. Second, Elvis was a moneymaker–heck, he still is. The Elvis 30 #1 Hits album, released in 2002, has sold 16 million copies at $15 a pop. Conveniently, that adds up to $240 million–the same amount Microsoft paid for its 1.6 percent stake in Facebook. And what did Microsoft get? A company whose COO still can’t articulate what, precisely, Facebook’s advertising revolution will look like.

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