Facebook Ads: Disney, Zynga Testing New Search FormatBy: Chris Crum - August 22, 2012
Facebook is finding more places to cram ads, in case you haven’t noticed. As the company’s stock suffers, Facebook needs to please investors, and that means, obviously, making more money. What better way to monetize 955 million active users than to show them more ads?
The publication spoke with Facebook about the test, but the company reportedly declined to name any participating advertisers. AdWeek, however, reports that advertisers include Disney Interactive Media Group, Zynga, Kixeye and King.com, running ads for Facebook games like Marvel: Avengers Alliance, Zynga Poker, Battle Pirates and Candy Crush Saga.
Here’s a look at the Avengers and Battle Pirates ads, both of which appear for a simple “avengers” search.
I have to question the relevancy. Even if sponsored, it’s hard to justify a result for Battle Pirates appearing above the Avengers Facebook Page for such a query, though Facebook’s search has never really been known for its relevancy.
That could soon change, however, and Google should be worried about that. Facebook is currently working on some kind of major search revamp, the details of which are still unknown. Former Googler Lars Rasmussen is working on it, and has been quoted as saying, “I am working on something very specific which is super exciting but it hasn’t launched yet so I can’t tell you much about it.”
Perhaps we’ll get a glimpse at Facebook’s f8 developer conference this year. An improved search experience combined with more of an emphasis on search ads could be highly profitable for Facebook if done right. That would certainly give investors something to smile about.