July 9, 2012
Facebook's New Ad-Targeting Product Due Later This Month: Social Giant's New Marketing Initiative Would Lead To Targeted Ads Appearing In Users' News Feeds Based On the Kinds Of Apps They Have On Their Smartphones — Whether They Like It Or Not
News of an imminent Facebook ad-targeting product, expected to roll out later this month, could have remarkable implications for brand marketers. The new initiative, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, would allow developers and advertisers to post ads on a Facebook user's news feed based on the apps they have on their smart phones, with revenue based on the number of app-installations generated by those ads, MarketWatch reports. The Journal report cited unnamed sources "familiar with the company's plans." The move underscores the importance of mobile advertising for Internet companies like Facebook and rival Google, which generate the bulk of their revenue through ads shown to users on PCs — despite the fact that ads over mobile devices have proven to be more challenging for generating significant revenues (just ask General Motors). Facebook has constantly emphasized its commitment to bringing users advertising content that relates to things they or their friends have "liked," as opposed to random advertising, but the new ads will reportedly be placed whether or not the user has shown an interest in the company doing the advertising, which is a strange move for Facebook, CNET reports.
If the news is true, it would be another push from Facebook to up its mobile money game. The company has been beefing up its advertising features in the last few months amid news of an unhappy advertiser and claims of ineffective ads. Facebook rolled out real-time targeted ads last month and is also developing a mobile ad product that uses real-time data based on users' locations, CNET reports in a story by Donna Tam.
Facebook's high-profile initial public offering in mid-May got mired in controversy, partly due to allegations that the company misled investors on its growth prospects. Those prospects are believed to be closely hinged to mobile advertising, given the growing number of users who are accessing the Internet through mobile devices, MarketWatch reports in an article by Benjamin Pimentel.