Social Media Wireless

I’m All For Mobile Ads Over Minutiae From Facebook Friends

Posted by Jeff Hasen on April 16th, 2013 at 8:16 am

More ads are coming to Facebook and Foursquare mobile users, actions that should be as much of a surprise as another irrelevant local “deal” hitting our inboxes.

Facebook said little about advertisements during its Home introduction. To me that says either they didn’t want to bring up the subject or they haven’t fleshed out the details and weren’t prepared to talk about a half-baked plan. Most likely, it’s both.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s unveiling of the product was described as an opportunity to give mobile owners the ability to see the world through people instead of apps. This road has been traveled before – Windows Phone positions itself similarly. And it hasn’t been a home run for Microsoft.

For some, mobile phones aren’t about people. They are about self.  Mobile is the ultimate personalization product – the phone rings the way we want it to, looks the way we want it to, and has just the content, including photos and apps, that we want.

Few, very few would choose to see brand messages in their Facebook feed, but at the risk of offending my friends, I’ll take a relevant offer for me from a business 100 times out of 100 if the alternative is seeing the 16th picture of the kid playing soccer. Really, that goes for the third or fourth Instagram on.

As to Foursquare, according to Advertising Age, the company has started pitching digital agencies on a new ad product that would use Foursquare's location and behavioral data to contextualize ads on other platforms.

The ad product is still in development and will eventually allow advertisers to use Foursquare data to target ads purchased through ad exchanges or networks, according to the publication.

When launched, it will mark Foursquare's first attempt to generate revenue outside promoted listings and specials advertised within its app. That certainly is necessary given that the four-year-old company reportedly had only $2 million in revenue in 2012.

Ken Allard, managing director of global business strategy at digital agency Huge, a unit of IPG, told Advertising Age that Foursquare's "unique and proprietary data is incredibly valuable."

Of course, that remains to be seen. For me, it has to be better than that third shot of 4-year-old Johnny and his buddies trying to head a soccer ball in the rain. Seeing that has never been my goal.

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