Facebook’s director of product Chris Cox said the primary goal when the network announced its redesign last week was putting “the stream” of members’ thoughts, actions and interactions with content front-and-center. Well, perhaps not surprisingly, the result looks very much like a Twitter stream with extra functionality.
But if Twitter plans to make advertising a revenue stream, it can learn something from Facebook; the social net also engineered its new look with better ads in mind. Getting users to expect that useful content will show up in the stream — be it a photo, a friend’s status update, or an app request — also makes it easier for Facebook to slip ads in, and increases the likelihood that members will interact with them. As VentureBeat notes, the ads have gotten smaller and look more like status updates in the “Highlights” feed on the right side of the page.
Facebook also added the ability to target ads by language and location radius. Previously, companies could only target a city like Washington, D.C., and get surrounding cities like Arlington, Va., and Bethesda, Md., automatically; now they can target by a 10-, 25- or 50-mile radius (via AllFacebook).