Friday, January 15, 2010

Facebook Ads goes social and useful (?)

When I went into Facebook today I noticed this ad:

Two things struck me as interesting, which I hadn't noticed in Facebook ads before:
  • Govermental information related to society
    The ad (for those who don't live in Sweden) tells you that you don't need a little sticker on your number plates from now on. (The sticker was a way to show that you had paid the taxes related to the vehicle).
    This highlights the value of Facebook Ads for other messages than the pure commercial that have been the main part of the ads so far.
    When you click on the ad you end up at the Swedish Transportstyrelsen.
  • Social recommendations
    Notice the "like"-button, and that two of my friend have "liked" the ad.
    I hadn't noticed this before, but apparently this was announced in August by Facebook.
    (One reason I hadn't noticed might be because there wasn't any ads "liked" by my friend before?)
    This is obviously a way to ensure that the ads as such become more personal relevant for you, in two ways: They are "filtered" by your friends, thus the content might be more likely to be relevant for you and they are "recommended" by your friend - you noticed your friends names and look twice.

That you start to see this type of "useful" information, rather than pure "spam ads", in Facebook leads me to some observations:

  • Facebook starts to be seen as a valuable platform for information spreading
    As the Facebook penetration in Sweden continue to grow, now with more than three million users, it's becomming a mainstream channel that is useful not only for businesses.
  • A targetable information channel
    With Facebook ads you can target the demographics of your receivers quite well, so local information, information for a specific gender and/or age group, information for specific interest groups etc can be effectively spread.
  • It adds further value to Facebook
    I get more value out of this specific ad than most others than I have seen so far.
  • More natural placements than Google ads
    My initial reaction was that this specific ad found a better placement through Facebook than it would have if included in the Google ad platform.

What do you think? Will we see more information spreading through Facebook ads, as opposed to commercial messages?

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