Just before the Facebook IPO, I wrote about a huge potential revenue stream that Facebook could roll out and could justify their huge valuation. Today, it started testing what I suggested and it could turn into a massive cash cow which makes Google sit up and pay very close attention to it.
The ads are currently running on Zynga.com games portal - who Facebook have a deep strategic partnership with - and they look and feel like Google ads. In fact, this is the sort of move that will have Google terrified and starting to look over their shoulders as their core business starts to come under pressure from Facebook's huge social reach.
Given the fact that most of the 900 million Facebook users are constantly logged in to their accounts and offering up information about themselves, this could easily turn into the most powerful social platform ever seen online. This is the sort of precise targeting around the web that advertisers have always dreamed of.
The Start Of Something Big
The ads are made up of traditional ads and sponsored stories. They click through to pages on Facebook or third party sites in the same way that traditional Facebook ads do. The huge advantage that Facebook is going to have over Google is the amount of personal information that they have about you. Imagine if you are into football, you support Manchester United and you're reading their site while also being served adverts relating to the club, match tickets or to place bets on the next game. That is the sort of precise targeting that you would never see via Google ads. This could completely change the nature of the way ads are served on the web. Facebook is clearly testing this, but will roll it out to everybody soon. Watch this space.
First spotted here