Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has taken a step forward in achieving its dream of a unique search engine, after it revealed to Tech Crunch; it would be “testing a new format of search ads, called Sponsored Results, that let advertisers show ads in the Facebook search typeahead to users looking for a particular Page, app, or Place. It basically will let businesses divert traffic from each other,” said Josh Constine.
According to the report, Facebook Search typeahead will let users view, as they type, not only the item, place or app they are typing, but also the competing items. For instance, if you are typing the words Xbox 360, you would also see an advert leading to another game, posted by a competing game company, intentionally targeting Xbox 360 games. This appears alongside your generic search result, which in this case would be Xbox 360.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) could benefit largely from Sponsored ad results, as direct advertisers with something to sell, could form yet another stream of income for the social network giant. The report notes that the sponsored results will be very similar to the organic search results appearing at the top of every page in the typeahead search box. However, there will be a small difference, whereby a small font word “sponsored” will be marketed against each sponsored ad result.
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The sponsored search ads sales will be tied on the number of clicks, and they will be targeted at people searching for any Page, app, Place, (and possibly event), without that particular business’s permission, notes Constine. The testing is expected to begin today.
Importantly, people seeking to place ads on Facebook must differentiate between search keywords and sponsored ads; the former can target a wide variety of things, but the latter must be specific. Therefore, advertisers are advised to target particular items on Facebook when placing their sponsored ads.
For example, the writer mentions things like, “beach”, “games”, or “cameras”, to be in the category of keyword based search item, while “Sandals Resort Hawaii”, “CityVille”, or “Nikon Camera”, are more specific and fit well, for sponsored ad results.
However, the sponsored results, unlike other search results, will not appear on the full search page, but only in the typeahead results as demonstrated in the image below, courtesy of Tech Crunch.
The new feature will be very useful to direct marketers who sell their products online, seeking to develop product traction. A unique attribute for sponsored search ads, is that they can be customized to a specific market segment, either according to age, location, or people who affiliate themselves with a certain public figure.
Furthermore, the feature will appear to be an automatic answer to Facebook’s challenge in following up with users who showed interest in purchasing a certain product advertised at their site. The company will now be able to gain sales from, urgent purchase intentions, and less urgent purchase intentions, contrary to before.
Additionally, the new feature also adds another aspect of competition to Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s sponsored advertising, something the writer notes that Google should watch out for.
Facebook Inc. has made several developments in the recent past, since listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange on May 18th. The company, has already been officially, included in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPad Apps, with iOS 6.
It also acquired Face.com, in a deal believed to be around $100 million, and most recently, added a feature that helps you find friends nearby. All these, among others, have been reported in our comprehensive, continuous coverage of the company’s developments.