Facebook has had a lot of scrutiny over how it uses information about you to market to you, but we have only started to scratch the surface of what might come, according to Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s global VP of marketing solutions, who was interviewed today by ContentNext editor Staci D. Kramer at the paidContent Advertising conference.
Facebook has been making big inroads into advertising services. The majority of pages on the site, for example, now feature some form of Facebook’s social advertising, but Everson says that this will likely go significantly further when more marketing formats get introduced.
“Marketers are in a different stage of conversation: we haven’t really scratched the surface with them at Facebook,” she said.
One area, for example, where Facebook has almost completely kept advertising out of the picture is mobile. It has some 300 million Facebookers already using mobile devices to access the site — a number that is “growing substantially,” she says — but from a marketing standpoint the company has decided not to put its traditional display ads on the platform, at least for now.
“We are holding ourselves to as high a standard as possible on mobile,” she said. “I don’t rule mobile out, but we are working hard to figure out what the right model is. We haven’t figured that out yet.”
Check-in deals have been the one exception to that so far: when a user is in a location where Facebook can deliver a relevant offer, those deals are pushed to users.
Advertising on Facebook.com has certainly become more prevalent, but the company has not given details of how much it has made from it to date. Earlier this month, it was reported that Facebook has made $1.6 billion in revenues in the first half of 2011 — but that would have come from a combination of advertising combined with revenues from the social network’s payment service, Facebook Credits. Facebook gets a 30 percent cut of all Credits transactions for third-party apps.
How Facebook develops ads: The guiding rule for this comes straight from founder Mark Zuckerberg, and the main idea is relevance: “He wants ads to be as useful as the content consumed in your news feed,” Everson said.
On growing partnerships with studios for premium video content: “We can move the box office needle. We feel confident about what we can do on the studio side.”
Asymmetrical following (i.e. a Twitter competitor): Huge response so far on a new service to “friend” users who do not friend you back.
On why ads are in the margins, and not the feeds: “Our newsfeeds are becoming too crowded. The amount of sharing and updating you get means you miss a lot.”
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