You know how everyone is worried about Facebook's ability to monetize their mobile platform in this tenuous post-IPO period? Today, they might have just taken a significant step in at least moving in the direction of assuaging some of those concerns.
Now, if you want to be a mobile-only advertiser, you can do so with Sponsored Stories. Before, advertisers couldn't specify exactly where they wanted their Sponsored Stories to appear. Starting today, they can pinpoint exactly where they want their ads to show up.
Facebook now gives five options to advertisers making purchases through the ads API and Power Editor:
- All placements: this option includes right-hand side +News Feed desktop+ News Feed mobile
- All desktop placements: this option includes right-hand side + News Feed desktop
- News Feed (desktop and mobile): this option includes News Feed desktop + News Feed mobile
- News Feed desktop: this option includes News Feed desktop only
- News Feed mobile: this option includes News Feed mobile only
As you can imagine, this kind of control has been oft requested from those who purchase Sponsored Stories, so advertisers have to be happy. And the happiness that comes with the ability to target to just the news feed or just the mobile news feed could entice them to be a little more free with the ad dollars.
Here's what Facebook had to say in a statement:
Facebook is always looking for ways to improve products and has responded to requests from marketers to control the placement of their sponsored stories. As companies are promoting services more frequently on mobile, this option gives them the opportunity to focus on specific placements that will impact them most directly.
Sponsored stories that appear in the news feed (whether it's desktop or mobile) feel more natural than stories that appear on the right-hand side, and may be a better option for some businesses. Sponsored stories simply take already-completed activities such as "liking" a page or topping a high score in a game and promotes them, so they often feel more organic that other types of ads. Users' inability to opt out of sponsored stories has been a point of contention, however, and Facebook just settled a lawsuit out of court a couple of weeks ago regarding that point.
But, these Sponsored Stories are the only ads that users currently see when accessing Facebook mobile, and they aren't going anywhere. Having the ability to put all their eggs in that basket could excite some advertisers who wish to use a scope instead of a shotgun when it comes to their targets.