According to Adweek, a Facebook fan is worth less than four bucks. Not entirely worthless. Just less than a Starbucks latte.
But that's just what Adweek said.
Another study by Syncapse told a similar tale but offered up a different ending. A Facebook fan, they said, is worth about $140.
Both articles looked at things like paid media value, product spend, brand affiliation, loyalty and others, but the most important factor was the value of the audience; not simply of being a fan, but what being a fan meant.
This is not a crazy new notion, mind you, in the world of eCommerce meets individualism meets conformity meets social needs meets technology and so on and so on. Assigning value to everything and everything being valuable. Of course, it's impossible to be empirical for the sake of being empirical. But we certainly try. Think about any given group or club that you belong to. Church. Volleyball rec league. Book club. Golf team. Whatever. Sure it's great to be part of something and that something is happy to have you, but the fact is that if you don't have a valuable and reciprical relationship with others in the group and the group as a whole, you are not going to care too much if you miss a meeting or two. Your engagement with the group will have a value, but it will start slipping. And if something better comes along, it's likely that you will seek out new experiences in hopes that something else will delight you more than what you are experiencing currently.
Which is exactly what Diaspora is banking on. At least for the time being. This group of four fellows is trying to make a go at giving Facebook a run for their money. And in doing so, these college students bent on privacy rights stirred up some delightful interest among the leaders of the technology sector. Hell, even Mark Zuckerberg got a charge at the project and donated to their cause because apparently he is a real fan of free enterprise and innovative technology. Read more on their story here.
So the lesson learned here is that no matter how much money Mark Z-man made from Facebook, he still recognizes the value of a fan.
Or maybe it's that the friend of your enemy really is your friend after all.