Facebook has over 1.1 billion monthly active users on it’s social network. The biggest online peer-to-peer network of it’s kind, where all the rest bow down to it’s greatness. But when you are this big, small suckerfish attach to you like a whale, using you for everything you got.
Spamming across the web is big business, for example, a spammer on Pinterest was making $1000 per day. And when you’re a big whale like Facebook, spamming is ever more prevalent. And the Guardian says spammers posting links on Facebook fan pages to send people to third-party scam sites are earning $200m every year, according to calculations by a team of Italian security researchers who have investigated hundreds of thousands of posts on the social network.
Using obvious techniques, spammers will post “Hey click here for a free iPhone” to get users to click off to a spammer’s website. Unfortunatley, many people still fall for this type of clickspam today. Spammers also use more devious methods like creating fake Fan pages, and using “Like If” posts to bubble their posts to the top of Newsfeeds all over the social network. Facebook knows this, and is finally doing something to combat the “Like If” fake pages to cut down on spam.
The research goes on to say that the spam posters get paid an average of $13 per post, for pages that have around 30,000 fans, up to an average of $58 to post on pages with more than 100,000 fans. If you consider these two as extremes, the pages analysed generate a revenue of 18,000 posts per day, times the revenue per post – ranging from $13 to $58 – 365 days a year. That gives a range for the spammers’ earnings of between $87m and $390m – but when they took into account the number of fans of the pages, the weighted average was just over $200m annually.