Facebook now claims a quarter of a billion users, including an astounding 50 million new users since April 8. But the company’s challenge has never been so much to build up its ranks as to make money from them. If the social network continues to add visitors at the rate of roughly 50 million every three months, it should have nearly 350 million members by year’s end — a 133 percent jump from the 150 million it heralded at the start of January. What about revenue? Facebook says it expects sales to increase 70 percent this year.
So how’s Facebook trying to make up the difference? One way is by introducing increasingly sophisticated targeting tools for advertisers. Inside Facebook reports that Facebook added several new ways for advertisers to target members this week. Advertisers will now be able to specifically reach users who are already connected with them in some way (For instance, if they are fans of their pages or a user of their apps). Other new features: Advertisers will now be able to target people on their birthdays and, in a nod to the site’s international growth, reach people in multiple countries with one campaign.