Yesterday was a huge day at F8.  If you missed it, please read my colleague Lawrence’s blog post for a great summary.  On a personal level, I’m excited about Timeline.  It will be very interesting to see how quickly users adopt and build out their Timelines.  My guess is pretty quickly. 

While a bit more behind the scenes, there were also a number of big announcements at F8 that impact advertising on Facebook.  Both of the announced changes stem from the flexibility to define “action-type” in application usage, shifting from the general “like” to the more specific “played, read, watched, ate, drank” or any other verb.   In this post,  I’ll take a look at the potential impact to both Sponsored Stories and Marketplace advertising.

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Sponsored Stories will now be much more impactful by capitalizing on the descriptive format of the new action-types.  Rather than someone simply “liking” a particular music show, a ticket sales application from Live Nation could add the detail that the person bought tickets to a particular show.  This more descriptive action adds important context for connections: this person bought tickets from Live Nation and will attend a particular show.  The addition of specific actions will result in stronger influence.

 

Furthermore, the application owner is not the only person that can use data for Sponsored Stories.  Taking the above example, the concert venue may want to run Sponsored Stories using data from Live Nation to enhance demand for the show.  The caveat is that the Sponsored Story will always link back to the application (in this case that’s good for the concert venue).

 

Outside of Sponsored Stories, the action-type will also create a new pool of targeting criteria for Marketplace ads.  For example, Nike can now target runners as a pool of users whose interactions with all types of applications define them as such (action-type=ran).  Using action-type is potentially much more relevant and recent than the broader interest target pulled from profiles. 

 

These changes are being made available via the Facebook Ads API.  We’re excited to test the efficacy and determine the potential for these new ads and targeting.  And we’re thrilled that Facebook is continuing to innovate in their ads product.

 

More to come from us as we test and learn…

 

Justin Merickel, VP of Marketing and New Product Development

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