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Innovation

Facebook: Will you go for its latest ad plan?

Facebook, which is reportedly being outhustled on ad sales by MySpace, is rolling out a new model to advertisers. The aim: Get you to interact with an ad.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

Facebook, which is reportedly being outhustled on ad sales by MySpace, is rolling out a new model to advertisers. The aim: Get you to interact with an ad.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook introduced the ads in August and is now rolling it out to all advertisers. You'll see them when you log-in and get pitched to do something--comment on a movie, TV show or something else.

The money quote from the Journal:

Facebook has a lot to prove with the new ad format, which it began quietly testing in August and started making available to all advertisers this month. The company says 70 of the U.S.'s 100 largest advertisers have advertised on its site since 2007. But its share of total number of U.S. online display ad views was just 1.1%, according to market research firm comScore Inc., in its most recent report in June. News Corp.'s Fox Interactive Media Unit, which includes rival MySpace.com, is the market leader with 15.9% of display-ad spending, according to comScore.

In other words, MySpace is spanking Facebook in monetization. The big question is why MySpace is better at advertising. Here are a few thoughts:

  • You expect ads on MySpace. Facebook not so much. As far as the culture of users and overall vibe you tend to get annoyed with Facebook advertising.
  • MySpace was bought to be monetized. If you work for News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch you sell ads hard. MySpace has access to resources that Facebook doesn't. Facebook sells ads like widgets. MySpace can use parent News Corp. to convince long-established advertisers to experiment a little.
  • MySpace is at a different point in its life cycle. Facebook is still in that land grab stage. MySpace is growing, but the focus is more on profit.

Perhaps Facebook's latest effort will be a goldmine, but I have my doubts. Your thoughts?

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