Why Even Top Local News Sites Can’t Compete With Facebook on Ads

Our usual image of Facebook is of a global social platform with more than 2 billion subscribers. But this image is very misleading because it doesn’t show how Facebook operates on the community level — conducting business one on one with the hypothetical Mario Donnezi of Mario’s Napolitan Restaurant and other merchants in Harvest Shopping Center in River City, Iowa. And doing the same with millions of other merchants in other communities in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Facebook originates viral posts that reverberate around the world, but when it comes to what pays the bills and produces the plaform’s billions of dollars of profits, most of the activity takes place between Facebook and smalll business people like Mario Donezzi.

It’s all very granular.

The merchant-Facebook transactions are for promotions or ads on the platform. A restaurateur like Donezzi wants to fill a few more tables on, say, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights. With a few clicks on his computer, using the “Facebook pixel” tool, he can find the best potential new customers.

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