Facebook gives social spin to online ads

Facebook launches Facebook Ads, its bid to better target and distribute ads on the popular social-networking site.

Facebook presented its master plan for boosting its advertising revenue now that it has the challenge of living up to its stratospheric US$15 billion valuation.

On Tuesday at an event in New York for its advertisers, it announced Facebook Ads, an ad system designed to let advertisers more precisely target users of the social network.

With its revenue expected to hit a reported US$150 million this year, Facebook needs to do a better job of targeting and distributing ads in its social-networking site, the world's second most popular behind MySpace. Expectations are high that Facebook's ad revenue can skyrocket, since it has a fast-growing base of about 50 million active users who voluntarily disclose a lot of information about themselves in their profiles and through their activities on the site.

The Facebook Ads program, which has the support of about 60 advertisers including Blockbuster, The Coca-Cola Company and Verizon Wireless, has three major components.

First, businesses can create profiles on Facebook, like individuals do. Second, SocialAds will make it possible for people to share advertising information they find compelling. Finally, Facebook will provide information about people's actions via an interface to marketers.

At launch, over 100,000 business profiles, called Facebook Pages, were on the site. Each business can design its page as it sees fit, posting information, photos, videos, music and applications that Facebook users can interact with.

People's activities on a business Facebook Page can then be shared with their Facebook "friends," which, as Facebook sees it, will enhance the advertising information because it will come referred by a known acquaintance.

In other words, an advertisers' message isn't necessarily delivered directly by the business, but rather distributed among their network of friends.

A business could, for example, let Facebook users engage in a variety of activities on its page, such as posting reviews and photos or making purchases, and people in turn could inform their friends about their actions via Facebook's automated notification systems.

Finally, with Facebook Insights, the company will give advertisers access to data about actions, demographics, ad performance and trends on their pages. It won't, however, divulge information that could be used to identify and single out individuals.

The company also announced a program to let its users share on the social network what they do on sites outside of Facebook. There are 44 Web sites participating on Facebook Beacon, as the program is called.

The Web sites decide which actions visitors can automatically report back to their Facebook friends, such as listing a product for sale, buying an item or viewing a video clip.

Some of the sites participating in Beacon are eBay, Fandango, CollegeHumor, Travelocity and Citysearch

Facebook, founded in 2004 and led by 23-year old CEO Mark Zuckerberg, recently sold a US$240 million minority stake to Microsoft, which provides ads for the site. Facebook expects to have about 700 employees a year from now, up from about 300 today.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?