Facebook Expands Targeted Advertising Through Outside Data Sources – NYTimes.com

I think this is misguided– the primary benefit to these partnerships is to be able to measure the effectiveness of seeing Facebook ads by connecting views to purchase data.  These firms, through partnerships can access purchase information and tie it back to individual accounts.  Targeting may be in the works too but it’s not the primary driver here:

In shaping its targeted advertising strategy, it is no longer relying solely on what Facebook users reveal about themselves. Instead, it is tapping into outside sources of data to learn even more about them — and to sell ads that are more finely targeted to them. Facebook says that this way, marketers will be able to reach the right audience for the right products, and consumers will see advertisements that are, as the company calls it, “relevant” to them.

via Facebook Expands Targeted Advertising Through Outside Data Sources – NYTimes.com.

Facebook advertisement studies: Their ads are more like TV ads than Google ads. – Slate Magazine

I wrote this ten days ago:

No, wrong.   The point of these offline data partnerships that Facebook is doing is that that consumers don’t need to engage with these ads.  All they need to show is a lift via a control/exposed study.  Obviously, if they don’t show any impact from ad exposure in news streams, that’s not good.  The ability to do this is what makes the Datalogix partnership so big.

Slate just published on this today.  I hope we don’t have an attribution issue here:

Even if you never click on Facebook ads, they are making you buy things.

via Facebook advertisement studies: Their ads are more like TV ads than Google ads. – Slate Magazine.

 

News Feed Is Facebook’s New Jackpot

Of course, this could all go horribly wrong, if users don’t, in fact, engage with those huge ads, the potential downside to larger visuals is perhaps a more pronounced negative knee-jerk reaction to poorly targeted ads. “If I’m served up an irrelevant ad, and it’s even larger than it used to be, I’ll probably be distracted by it and dislike it that much more,” added Newcomb.

via News Feed Is Facebook’s New Jackpot – Rebecca Greenfield – The Atlantic Wire.

No, wrong.   The point of these offline data partnerships that Facebook is doing is that that consumers don’t need to engage with these ads.  All they need to show is a lift via a control/exposed study.  Obviously, if they don’t show any impact from ad exposure in news streams, that’s not good.  The ability to do this is what makes the Datalogix partnership so big.

 

Facebook’s Zero Sum Fight

It’s even harder to fight this battle between user experience and monetization when it’s starting as a zero sum fight from right off the bat.

Mr. Cathcart acknowledges that maintaining the balance on news feed between ads and user-generated content is an ongoing challenge.

via Facebook on its Clutter Conundrum – Digits – WSJ.

And the way Facebook uses data to back up this tradeoff is the same way that most pubs use it.  These are vanity metrics because the (engagement) data presented does not truly capture the impact of ads.

According to Mr. Cathcart, the study showed a 2% drop in engagement for the group that saw the normal flow of ads versus the group that saw no ads. Any drop in engagement should upset Facebook, given its loftier mission of connecting the world on its platform. But all things considered, Mr. Cathcart said, it really wasn’t so bad.

Meet the man behind Facebook’s ad revenue – Fortune Tech

Wasn’t there an article three months ago on adexchanger with the same title but featuring Gokul Rajaram?

David Fischer, Facebook’s vice president of business and marketing partnerships, has helped Facebook built its profit engine. via Meet the man behind Facebook’s ad revenue – Fortune Tech.

Nothing terribly interesting here but a highly relevant piece.  There’s the same old stuff about how they’re playing the long game and how they want to create monetization products that aren’t zero sum between their ad clients and user base.  There’s also a lot of discussion about mobile, user experience, privacy, targeting, etc.

 

 

 

Dreaded Auto-Play Video Ads Could Be Coming To Facebook, VP Confirms | TechCrunch

It’s the old “balancing user experience and monetization” line:

Could Facebook run auto-play video ads without overly distracting users from their friends’ content?”

Fischer admirably gave a straight answer (which I’ve verified with Facebook) when he easily could have dodged. “I believe there are ways we could do it. There are ways that could be destructive and distracting to the user experience. But there are ways that could potentially balance user experience with advertiser experience. We haven’t put a product out yet because we haven’t had one we’re comfortable with. But if we could, then we would do it.”

via Dreaded Auto-Play Video Ads Could Be Coming To Facebook, VP Confirms | TechCrunch.

Graph Search: Making Facebook Data More Useful To Users

Many startups exist because they simply make Facebook data more useful.  The simple formula is taking your social graph data and presenting it in a new UI such as a map, images, pinterest syle format, etc.

Graph Search is step one in building the foundations so that users can do this without leaving Facebook.  Does that mean this will accelerate the demise of all the startups I mentioned above?  I don’t know– that’s a timing question.

The current product as it is leaves a lot to be desired, but the vision and mission the Graph Search team (making users’ social graph data more useful) is really a no-brainer and it’s not hype to me when I hear Zuck is calling this one of the important pillars of Facebook.

Facebook Is No Longer Flat: On Graph Search | John Battelle’s Search BlogJohn Battelle’s Search Blog.

 

Facebook Stops Its Long-Awaited Ad Network Before It Starts (For Now) – Peter Kafka – Media – AllThingsD

The major problem for both Facebook and its potential partners, sources said, is concern that Facebook isn’t ready to deliver ads on external sites that produce significant value for either the network or its partners.

via Facebook Stops Its Long-Awaited Ad Network Before It Starts (For Now) – Peter Kafka – Media – AllThingsD.

That has heavy implications on how much they can leverage their data.