On May 5, Facebook quietly announced a new targeting option for self-serve Marketplace ads. Now fully launched, advertisers have the ability to purchase Sponsored Stories on desktop and mobile news feeds. This really translates to mobile-only targeting, which had previously only been available for Facebook-direct, insertion order buys. Facebook’s new targeting options are currently available via the Power Editor and the API.
The ability to segment campaigns by mobile news feed, desktop news feed, and site-wide and measure the results will allow advertisers to further analyze ad performance and adjust strategy accordingly. This level of insight and optimization opportunity will prove valuable, especially for advertisers with mobile products and apps. With Facebook’s Open Graph advances, Sponsored Stories are becoming more personalized. Originally Sponsored Stories reported mostly Likes, but each new action in the Open Graph presents another opportunity for advertisers to connect with users. Users don’t just Like things anymore; they run, listen, read, cook, buy, and play. For a brand with a recipe or fitness app, fine tuning this targeting presents a great opportunity.
With the recent IPO, mobile has become very important to Facebook. Recent reports put Facebook’s register users at 901 million strong, with 500 million of those users active on Facebook’s mobile properties. Offering mobile-only targeting will certainly bolster Facebook’s inventory, as those impressions were previously lumped together with desktop. More importantly, this is the second signal that Facebook intends to become a mobile property. Even in their SEC filings, Facebook admits that they were not prepared to take on mobile initially –
“Growth in use of Facebook through our mobile products, where our ability to monetize is unproven, as a substitute for use on personal computers may negatively affect our revenue and financial results.”
With the acquisition of Instagram, Facebook bought itself a mobile development team, not just a fun camera app. While they may have to play catch up, Facebook is positioning itself to be the next big thing in mobile media.