The number of customers using Facebook’s online-advertising system has more than tripled in the past 12 months. This means that more and more small- and medium- sized businesses are now using Facebook as part of their online marketing strategy. Lots of local businesses are now finding success in this advertising model. Facebook launched its advertising program in 2007.
The ads, which appear on users’ Facebook profile pages (wall, info, photos etc.) allow 25 characters in the title and as many as 135 characters in the body of the text plus an optional photo. The targeting behind the ads is driven by the personal profiles of Facebook users. If you list Simpsons as your favourite TV-show, you will probably see an ad from Foxtel sooner or later.
Wired’s Fred Vogelstein thinks that Facebook is poised to take over display advertising the way that Google has dominated search advertising. Internet users behave differently on Facebook than anywhere else online. Most of them use their real names, connect with their real friends, share their real thoughts, tastes and news. This is what makes Facebook audience so appealing to advertisers. You have real people with personal qualities who can be divided into exact consumer categories. Google, Yahoo and other search engines, on the other hand know little about of its users other than their search histories and some browsing activity.
Doubling its membership in March, Twitter is growing even faster than Facebook. As you might remember, at the end of last year, Facebook tried to buy Twitter for $500M but failed miserably. If Facebook had secured Twitter’s huge stake on the real time user generated information, they could have secured the dominant position in user generated live content. More and more Internet users are transferring their social habits to Twitter and Facebook from sites like Friendster and MySpace. In May this year, Facebook surpassed MySpace in the US, which was the last strong hold for the News Corp owned site. According Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg Facebook’s revenue may climb 70 percent this year. Also last month, Russia’s Digital Sky Technologies paid $200 million for less than 2 percent of Facebook, valuing the company at $10 billion. Earlier Microsoft had secured a 1.6% stake for $240 million.
Facebook is based in Palo Alto, California. It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004. Wired is a monthly magazine published since March 1993. Wired reports on how technology affects culture, the economy, and politics. Owned by Condé Nast Publications, it is published in San Francisco, California.
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