Google AdSense for Facebook
Facebook has an opportunity to get a lot more advertising revenue by displaying ads on other websites like Google AdSense. Facebook knows who are visiting sites that use like box, Facebook Connect or other social plugins. This gives them an opportunity to target ads at specific audiences. This is a little different from what Google does with its AdSense program.
Google’s strength lies in the ability to match ads to the site content. However it misses a lot in that field and its not rare to see ads totally unrelated to the site’s content. In some cases 2 out of 3 are wrong and the remaining one is „almost but not quite“. The misses come from the fact that they try automatically calculate the relevance of the site to the ads and this leads to matching „laser printers“ with „laser eye surgery“.
On the other hand Facebook knows a lot about you. And it will not make a mistake of identifying you if you are logged on. Crunching the gazillions of terabytes from its endless social databases Facebook has an ability to extract our values, attitudes and lifestyles. This is much more powerful targeting option than Google’s matching sites to ads and hoping that people visiting the site are interested in the ads.
In my opinion matching ads to people will get better results than matching ads to websites.
So, how would this system work? From the publishers point of view it would be similar to Google AdSense. You put the code that displays the ads in your site, sit back and relax, waiting for the money to start pour in.
The magic will be on the Facebook’s side. Some of the information Facebook has that they can use to target ads at you:
- What sites do you visit
- What information do you have on your profile
- What information make you share, like and comment
- Who are your friends
- All the above about your friends
For example Facebook knows when your friend just bought a new smartphone and how old your current phone is. Using that it can start displaying smartphone ads for you on the sites that you visit.
Similarly to Google advertising Facebook should police the ads click through rates and other metrics so that marketers could not spam their audiences with badly targeted material.
Facebook can give advertisers unbelievably powerful tools by making its aggregate social data available for ad targeting. Advertiser can create ads by targeting people who:
- have visited snowboard related sites in the last two weeks
- they have snowboarding mentioned in their profile
- they have interacted with snowboard related status updates/images/pages in the last X days
You could create different ads for men and women, young and old, people with lots of connections and those of only a few. Some of theses options are already available when advertising on Facebook but using that information to advertise on other sites will add a lot of value.
But this is just the beginning. With all that information available new possibilities are going to emerge. And in the end people will get ads that match their interests.
By giving feedback on demographic data to advertisers and publishers Facebook can help to increase the relevance of the ads. This will make the program more attractive to publishers and advertisers alike. In the end it’ll reduce the noise level of irrelevant advertising messages that you see on the websites.
Facebook is a platform. The ability to tap in and use Facebook’s aggregate data should be made available to developers who can then build real business applications to Facebook.
- and much more
Google gets about 25 to 30 percent of its ad revenue from AdSense. In second quarter 2011 Google made almost 2.5 billion dollars from AdSense ($9.71 billion annualized).
Google’s partner sites generated revenues, through AdSense programs, of $2.48 billion, or 28% of total revenues, in the second quarter of 2011. This represents a 20% increase from second quarter 2010 network revenues of $2.06 billion. (Google Announces Second Quarter 2011 Financial Results)
So, what do you think will there be something like AdSense for Facebook and would you use it a an advertiser or a publisher? Let us know in the comments.