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‘Facebook ads’ to change way of marketing

07 ноября 2007

Facebook on Tuesday launched its most ambitious attempt yet to turn its rising popularity into a profitable business by unveiling new features designed to allow advertisers to tap into the “Holy Grail” of word-of-mouth advertising.

‘Facebook ads’ to change way of marketingSpeaking before hundreds of advertisers and media executives in New York, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s 23-year-old founder and chief executive, said Facebook’s new technology represented a new era for advertisers, in which commercials are replaced by messages planted in online conversations between friends.

“The next 100 years are going to be different for advertisers starting today,” Mr Zuckerberg said. “For the last 100 years media has been pushed out to people, but now marketers are going to be a part of the conversation.”

Facebook’s new technology, dubbed “Facebook ads”, will allow businesses to build custom-designed “pages” on the social networking site. Users will be able to become “fans” of a company’s page, 10,000 of which were launched on Tuesday night.

Any actions they take on the page, such as reviewing a product or uploading a photograph, would then be communicated to that user’s friends and accompanied by a logo, creating “social ads”. The ads will be auctioned, and buyers can opt to pay for impressions on the number of clicks.

Mr Zuckerberg said that, by interacting with a company’s Facebook page in this way, the site’s users would act as “trusted referrals” for advertisers.

“Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend,” Mr Zuckerberg said. “A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.”

Facebook also announced two other related technologies. One, called “Beacon”, will track purchases that Facebook users make on outside web sites, then report those purchases to a user’s friends on Facebook. The other, called Facebook Insights, will allow advertisers to track how their social ads spread between Facebook users.

While Facebook took pains to assure its users that the new technologies would continue to respect their privacy, one analyst said there was a risk the new technologies could backfire if Facebook’s users feel that the new system violates their privacy or bombards them with unwanted ads.

“This is probably Facebook’s biggest gamble yet,” said Ray Valdes, an analyst at Gartner, the market research group.

While Facebook remains second behind MySpace in overall user traffic, the buzz around the company reached a new peak last month when Microsoft took a 1.6 per cent stake in Facebook in a deal that valued the company at $15bn.

Facebook’s advertising news came a day after MySpace announced features that will allow advertisers to better target their ads by users based on the information they reveal about themselves online.

Источник: Financial Times

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