I just read an interesting piece on Wired about Facebook's advertising products (via @Lessien). The piece is actually an interview with the director of Facebook Advertising Product Director, Gokul Rajaram, and gets at some things which I find really telling. They seem to match with many of the ads or sponsored content I've been seeing on Facebook of late (both on the desktop and on mobile)
Here are some interesting tidbits which align pretty well with what I wrote previously:
Facebook’s advertising mission, then, is not to inject commercial messages into social discussions, but to amplify the messages that are already there. And it’s not to drive immediate purchases, as Google’s contextual advertising does, but to influence buying decisions a little further down the road.They use a term, "mid-funnel" which I find a little odd, but makes sense because a person on Facebook typically isn't ready to buy something that might be shown on an ad, but specific other things they see on Facebook may nudge them lower into the funnel to actually buy something (such as a gift for their friend's birthday or a Groupon type offer for a local restaurant that a friend loves.
To that end, here's a quote from Rajaram exactly on that point:
“We always think about, how can Facebook add that extra social, viral dimension to advertising,” Rajaram says. “We always think about stories and how, it’s not just businesses communicating to people, it’s businesses communicating with their loyal lists of fans and how then those fan’s interactions with that message can lead to their friends being impacted.”It's nice to see that a research article posted recently aligns pretty well with what I wrote almost 5 months ago :)
I've been compiling examples of ads on Facebook over the past few weeks (again, both on the desktop and on mobile). I promise to post those along with my commentary soon!