Facebook Testing Real-Time Ads Based on User Conversations

Facebook is currently testing real-time advertising, which if successful could boost the social media giant’s display ad click-through rate, reported to be a mere 0.051% in 2010, half the industry average.

Advertising Age writes that the Facebook is testing the delivery platform of mining real-time conversations to target ads with 1 percent of its users worldwide, a focus group of 6 million people. While the social net has been delivering targeted ads based on wall posts and status updates for some time, they have never done it on a real time basis. How would the ads work? If a user updated their status to say, “Mmm, I could go for some pizza tonight,” they could get an ad or a coupon from Domino’s, Papa John’s or Pizza Hut.

Facebook said that while delivering these ads based on user conversation is a complex algorithm continuously perfected and changed, the real aim of this test is see if the ads can be served “at split-second speed,” just as soon as the user makes a statement that is a match for an ad in the system. As AdAge.com notes, “The moment between a potential customer expressing a desire and deciding on how to fulfill that desire is an advertiser sweet spot, and the real-time ad model puts advertisers in front of a user at that very delicate, decisive moment.”

Read the full Adage.com story here.


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