Measurement was a key topic discussed by Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg during the social network’s first-quarter earnings call Wednesday, and the company’s plans for Atlas Solutions, which it acquired from Microsoft in February, were front and center.
Facebook’s transition to a mobile-first company continued with great speed during the first quarter of 2013, as the social network reported that 30 percent of its total advertising revenue during the period came from mobile, up from 23 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Facebook will announce Wednesday afternoon how well it did financially in the first quarter of this fiscal year. The company has been aggressive about rolling out ad products, and it deepened its relationship with firms such as Datalogix to give advertisers better purchasing data. Let’s take a look at what others think ahead of Wednesday’s earnings call.
In an effort to attract advertisers, Facebook has partnered with firms such as Datalogix to find out how the social network influences online purchasing behavior. These efforts will likely be ramped up, as TechCrunch reported Thursday that Datalogix has raised $25 million in Series B funding, led by Institutional Venture Partners.
Facebook’s ad-targeting capabilities took a giant step forward with Wednesday’s launch of partner categories, which allow brands on the social network to show ads to users based not only on their Facebook activity, but their activity across the Web, via both desktop and mobile, and even their offline purchases and tendencies.
It’s no secret that Facebook in recent years has become a data company. The more data Facebook has about its users — such as gender, education, likes, and location — the better it can serve targeted ads. But Facebook has to strike a cautious balance with regard to targeting. Whereas many users see ads that are wholly irrelevant, many others feel that Facebook can be too invasive when it comes to advertising.
Ever since the company went public nearly one year ago, Facebook has been trying to prove to advertisers that it can provide real-world value. Brad Smallwood, Facebook’s head of measurement and insights, told attendees of the Advertising Research Foundation’s Re:think conference in New York that among 22 recent Facebook campaigns, with data from 70 million consumers, Facebook increased return on investment by 22 percent.
A report last week that Facebook was testing a new type of targeted advertising, along with several third-party partners, which would allow brands to market to users based on items they have previously expressed interest in while surfing the Web was confirmed Wednesday with the social network’s announcement on its Facebook Studio blog of the expansion of its custom audiences offering with data-centric partners Datalogix, Epsilon, Acxiom, and BlueKai.