Facebook has announced they are now offering paid advertising. I hope this will not mark the beginning of the end of the site. After all, it was the ridiculous over-run of ads on MySpace that sent most of us flying to FB in the first place.
One thing that gives me hope is how subtlely the ads will be integrated and how targeted you can be. For example, you can ID the age, the exact city, gender and key words people have in their profiles. You can also choose a specific time frame in which to run the ad.
The potential here seems pretty great. Say I’m a franchise owner of a QSR in Tulsa and I want to tell guys aged 18 – 24 about a special BOGO deal I’ve got going on over the weekend. With these Facebook ads, I can do just that. Or, if a new pet supply store opens in a specific area, this could be a great way to find and connect with people in the neighborhood who have pets.
My hope it that this will be less pervasive than the entire homepage crawling with obnoxious banners ala MySpace. (On FB the ads will appear in an individual news feed or within two ad spots on the right rail.) Not to be outdone, MySpace just announced they are now offering the exact same service.
I’ve set up ads within both communities as a test run to direct traffic to this blog. I will letcha know the final results in a few weeks. But I can tell you so far, the Facebook ad delivered 33,337 impressions and a .3% click-through rate on day one and MySpace has yet to post my metrics.