Facebook that is poised to raise at least $5bn in stock market float later this year has recently unveiled sponsored stories for mobile in news feeds and premium ads on the logout pages. Facebook, which made $3.154 billion in 2011 from advertising, had initially tested the sponsored stories in news feed for the desktop version. With the latest announcement, it is going to do the same for mobile as reported by SimplyZesty. And to give its users a feel of the new development it has released a demo tool. The demo tool gives you a feel of how sponsored stories in news feed would look like in a desktop and mobile version. Click here if you want to play around with the demo tool. The tool has a default demo for all users but if you would like to see your ad then simply create one like I have done.
As you can see, the above screenshot displays how sponsored stories will appear in news feed desktop and mobile. Though Facebook had initially cleared that sponsored stories in news feed for the desktop version would only appear once in a day. However we will have to wait and see how frequent this is going to appear in the mobile version.
The announcement made by Facebook is nothing surprising as it is a likely move. But is Facebook getting hungry for money and will the user experience be sacrificed? We are already seeing a negative user growth in US for last six months as stated by Social Bakers. However saying that I have recently seen one of the sponsored ads on the news feed, which was not that bad, as one would expect. Nevertheless the bigger question is, how creative would be these ads. The general feeling is that fans would never like to see Facebook ads, which are simply driven for the like campaigns. From Facebook perspective I would love to see that they monitor these sponsored ads in the news feed. You just can’t target the same way you are doing it on the right hand side of the screen. And talking from a marketer point of view I think if they are showing sponsored ads in the news feed then they should be more creative rather than simply driving fans to like the page. And with the latest brand pages, it makes more sense to drive fans to a particular campaign rather than simply driving to the wall. However it would be interesting to see what response does it generate for premium ads on the logout page when people hardly logout of Facebook.
The news is definitely a factor to cheer for Indian marketers for a couple reasons- 1) 49% of Indians are Mobile Internet Users and 2) India has the second largest number of users accessing Facebook. However I have not been able to find out how much percentage of Indians access Facebook via mobile but still it is great news for brands. And with the growing love of Facebook towards India where it has recently partnered with FICCI to boost SME’s and added Ozone Media as another official ad partner in India along with Komli gives more reason to smile for brands.
Well while talking about ads Facebook is not the only player cause Twitter has recently posted on its blog that it is going to provide more options for Promoted Tweets via mobile. Initially Twitter tested with launching promoted tweets of a brand on the user timeline, which he is following. Carrying that ahead now as a brand, you can target your Promoted Tweets on mobile with users that share similar interests with the existing followers. In other words from now on you can target your campaign specifically to desktop computers, mobile devices, etc.
The new feature, which Twitter has added is an addition to its ongoing process of figuring out how it can make money of a product, which is now close to six years. The move is well thought of as we know the next generation of consumer engagement will be on mobile and tablet devices. And when 55 percent of Twitter users are accessing it via mobile as stated by Dick Costola, the move makes even more sense. However it would be really interesting to see how open are Indian brands with Twitter ads. We haven’ heard much about Indian brands exploring Twitter ads except for Tata Docomo.
Hopefully these new introductions by both the giants will enhance the relationship between brands and fans rather than killing the social experience.
Slider image courtesy: parkerfordchurch.com