Important points in bold:
Facebook has similarly gotten this right. I launch Facebook a couple of times a day seeking minor entertainment from the tiny bouts of bored that fill the day. Facebook shows me ads for 4.5 – 5 star rated mobile strategy games and news about super hero TV shows & movies because I play Clash of Clans and click on all content from Comicbook.com religiously. As with Google, my needs as a consumer are in perfect harmony with the goals of their advertisers.
Where Facebook cranks things up to 11 is that they have figured out how to make more money from mobile users than from desktop users. This is pretty much unheard of in the digital world where the meme is that offline dollars became digital dimes on the desktop web and pennies on mobile. When it comes to mobile ad revenue Facebook is bordering on a mythical creature.
As a post-script, one other impressive point about Facebook is how malleable their product is from an ads perspective. At one point in time, the Facebook feed was all about social games and they made a large chunk of their money from getting 30% of Zynga’s transactions on their platform. Over the past year it’s all mobile app install ads but they’ve already started the long game to switch to stealing ad dollars from TV & YouTube.
A few years ago, I remember reading about Facebook plan to have auto playing video ads fro articles like Facebook Autoplay Ads Won’t Be As Bad As You Think (But Everyone Will Still Hate Them) and thinking that this would be a very jarring experience in their product. However over the past year or so, the news feed has been pumping a heavy diet of auto playing videos from my friends to the extent that I’m now used to auto playing videos in the news feed and honestly can’t distinguish auto playing video ads from auto playing viral videos posted by my friends at first glance. This is the holy grail that Snapchat needs to achieve to be worthy of using Facebook as a benchmark for its valuation but unfortunately they do not have a canvas as malleable as the Facebook news feed or even the Twitter time line.