Social networking giant Facebook has amassed a lot of expertise in terms of showing advertising geared towards conversations of its users. This advertising platform is based on biographic information and highly targeted demographic selections for self-serve advertisers. In terms of targeting, Facebook has many other advertising platforms, whether online or offline beat, hands down. You can select by geographic region, you can select by age and a few other biographical segments that really help advertisers slice and dice their target audience for optimal fit.
While the jury is still out regarding how effective these ads are in light of the fact that people go to Facebook primarily to chat with their friends instead of actually looking for information (they would have gone to Google for that), you have to admit that Facebook’s ability to segment user demographics is very interesting. That is why after undergoing several tweaks within the confines of Facebook’s password-protected website, it looks like Facebook has finally taken baby steps towards showing its ads on other websites outside of Facebook. No wonder then that its first ad outing is on the pages of its longtime applications and content partner, zynga.com. You can now see Facebook ads appearing on the right side bar on zynga.com. It looks just like ads that you would see on Facebook.
This marks a great step forward for the social networking company. It has been several years now where company observers have speculated that Facebook will eventually roll out an offsite ad network. So far, it had moved along fairly slowly, but if it can launch a huge self-serve external ad network along the lines of Google’s AdWords and AdSense system, Facebook might finally defeat the skepticism many critics have about its ability to sustain its ad revenues over the long haul. The news of the Zynga ad tie up has driven up the stock price of both Facebook and Zynga, which is definitely a vote of approval from the market. It remains to be seen, however, if Facebook will take the next step and start rolling out more ads to other websites and finally launch its own web wide ad network.