Facebook IPO Finally Here, Is Facebook’s Version of AdSense On The Way?

    May 18, 2012
    Chris Crum

Two years ago, we asked if Google’s AdSense could be in trouble because of Facebook. The premise of this article was essentially: What if Facebook launches its own AdSense-like ad network? Why wouldn’t it? It makes too much sense.

Today, of course, Facebook finally went public, and there’s a whole lot of talk about what Facebook might do in the future. How can it bring in more revenue? It’s got a long way to go to get to Google-like revenue. Could an AdSense-like network be on the way? Are we getting closer to this being a reality? Some seem to think so.

TechCrunch’s Josh Constine speculated about this, saying, “Facebook’s ad network [would] essentially turn ad real estate on any website into places to serve the campaigns that advertisers buy for display on Facebook.com. Anyone currently logged into Facebook who visits one of these sites would be shown ads targeted by their Facebook information, such as age, gender, location, work and education history, interests, app usage, and friends. Facebook and the site hosting an ad would then split the money made on clicks or impressions.”

Again, it just makes too much sense. How could this possibly not happen? This seems even more likely than Facebook getting into search. It already has the ads and the massive amount of highly personalized data to make this a very attractive offering for publishers who already have various Facebook integrations on their sites. It could only help Facebook cement its place around the web at large even more (making it far less likely to become the next MySpace).

Constine also points to an interesting nugget of information about Facebook’s privacy policy, which could make it easier for Facebook to launch such a network.

“Facebook has denied this product is in the works whenever it’s been asked, but last week it revised its privacy policy to expand its ability to serve ads to its user[s] while they’re outside of Facebook.com,” says Constine. “There’d be little reason to do this if something wasn’t in the works. The march across the web of its other social plugins such as the Like button have also paved the way for an ad network plugin. It might need to develop or acquire a company with expertise in analyzing site content so it could serve somewhat relevant ads to site visitors who aren’t logged in to Facebook.”

Sure, people will freak out about privacy like they always do, but ultimately, Facebook is already showing you things on other sites. It might as well monetize that.

Would you participate in a Facebook-based AdSense-like program? Let us know in the comments.