Facebook introduced partner categories in April, allowing brands to target ads to users by category, such as “auto intenders” (users whose behavior indicated interest in purchasing a car) and “soda drinkers,” based on their activities both on the social network and elsewhere on the Web, including mobile and even offline. Now the number of partner categories has doubled.
Facebook is more than a social networking site; it’s a business with many complex features working together. Once a small website (for only Harvard University students), Facebook has long since shed its small-town ways for bigger, flashier effects in the horizon. Facebook now combines the best of social networking tools and online marketing tactics to create a single platform that is attractive to both users and businesses, and it is only getting started.
When marketers first flocked to Facebook, they were desperate for any metric that showed successful interactions with audiences on the social platform. That began an arms race of status updates and photos to bring in as many likes — that ubiquitous thumbs-up of approval — as possible. It’s now abundantly clear that Facebook is here to stay as an advertising channel, and the social network has responded to its increased stature in the advertising world with new products and developments that help marketers demonstrate return on their investment.
Not surprisingly, Facebook’s second-quarter earnings call devoted a great deal of time to the social network’s advertising growth, with Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg devoting the majority of her remarks to the subject.
Facebook may have started out as a way for people to connect with their friends, but in the process of becoming the world’s largest social network, it has evolved into the greatest marketing platform on earth. The key to the success of its marketing platform lies within two core elements: the social graph, and reach.
Facebook acquired Atlas Solutions from Microsoft in February and extolled its virtues during its first-quarter earnings call earlier this month. Now, the social network told its largest advertisers that Atlas’ view tags can be used to track targeted ads using its custom audiences, partner categories, and lookalike audiences options, sister blog Inside Facebook reported.
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.