No Facebook Ad Network For Now - Ever?; Targeting The Social Graph; Watson For Ads

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No Facebook Ad Network For Now, Ever

At last Thursday's Reuters Global Technology Summit, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said the company still isn't ready to roll-out an ad network to third-party sites that would leverage the social behemoth's "like" data for targeting. Sandberg said, "We're not working on an ad network right now. We have a lot of growth in our own inventory, our own pages," she said. Read more on Huffington Post. The Business Insider's Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry comments on why there's no FB ad network, "Facebook is still growing at a pace where it's creating more pageviews than it can fill with ads. Demand from advertisers for Facebook ads is big and growing--but so is Facebook.com. Just filling that is enough work--and enough top and bottomline growth--that building an ad network just doesn't make sense at this point." Read it. These are good points but I'd say there's something more strategic at stake here. I'd be surprised if Facebook ever starts an ad network because it enables the creation of content outside of its "login". Facebook ultimately wants content created on Facebook. It wants to own the content, the data, the ads which data enables and, most critically, discovery. Also, a Facebook ad network would serve to enable competitors who exist within any publisher's ad network "stack" if you will - i.e. Google Ad Sense, GDN and DoubleClick Ad Exchange. If all content is on Facebook there is no place or need for Google monetization tools. Finally, regarding "discovery", if more content is on Facebook then the importance of Google's biggest weapon - Search - is minimized. Discovery is the Internet's biggest "Holy Grail." This is what Google owns and Facebook wants to takeover. I think they both can win but both companies will likely end up creating their own Internets - with a third crummy Internet run left over (you know, the one we use today). And, the G8 will become the G10 - with Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page joining the circular table. OK, next story...

Cornering The Targetable Social Graph?

TechCrunch's Mike Arrington offers his thoughts on social ad network RadiumOne and claims that the company's ability to aggregate social data and create effective, targetable interest graphs from sharing widgets - like those of ShareThis, AddThis and AddToAny - will be a difference-maker. In that any company can partner with the widget makers, how is that truly differentiation? Arrington offers, "RadiumOne is using the $21 million warchest from their just-announced funding to begin to buy the widget guys outright, ensuring that no one else down the road can get the data. And anyone they don’t buy should watch out." 21 mil won't buy some of these data companies considering the vc money they've taken to-date, but a combination of RadiumOne stock and cash might considering a possible IPO or acquisition by a larger player. Read more. The "share"-ing business remains a tricky one. though. I'm not convinced all publishers know what they're getting into when they add certain free sharing widgets as in - someone may be selling the publisher's audience on another site. Seems like a risk for the sharing world. Yet, there can be great value provided by the widgets in the user's and publisher's experience (such as better personalization for the user, and analytics and marketing for the publisher). And, Facebook is making its case as the ultimate sharing widget.

The Automated Agency For SMBs

Echoing themes from American Express OPEN's Q&A on AdExchanger.com last week, ReachLocal said that it sees a bright future ahead that will target Small and Media-Sized Business (SMB) - and in spite of Google's presence. ReachLocal CEO Zorik Gordon tells VatorTV, "Small advertisers are not going to Google, Facebook and Yahoo by themselves. They’re just not. It’s not worth the time and the effort for them to do it themselves. So, they look to companies like us to be their outsourced marketing arm, where we take those dollars and deploy them." It's automated agency services for SMBs. Read more.

Watson For Ads

Somebody just got a big payday... IBM announced it's going to sink $100 million into research focused on big data. GigaOm's Ryan Kim reports, "The news, shared at an event at its Watson Research Center, highlights the work IBM has done in assembling a broad portfolio of big data tools for enterprise customers." Watson for Ads! How long 'til we see it? No more DSP or SSP, just a plain ol' Watson. Read more. Listen to the IBM release, "The initiative will focus on research to drive the future of massive scale analytics, through advancing software, systems and services capabilities." Read the release and learn more about new analytics tools and services.

G8 For The Internet

With the help of Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Lévy, French Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has organized a pre-Group8 summit of Internet thinkers and superstars in Paris, France. The New York Times' Eric Pfanner writes, "The get-together comes as the Internet takes a central role in powering economic growth and empowering societies, as revolutions in the Arab world have shown" -or, put another way - as some of the largest Internet companies become as powerful as countries. The NYT's Pfanner suggests that the event will give Sarkozy a chance to portray France as receptive to the rapidly innovating world of the Internet. Read more.

Vertical, Vertical, Vertical

Gorilla Nation owner Evolve Media Corp. announced on Friday that it acquired "WholesomeBabyFood.com, which will become a part of Momtastic, a leading online destination and community for moms." Aggregating content around discreet verticals and creating a unique custom and targeted advertising opportunity remains a focus for Evolve. Read the release.

Online Privacy

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1 Comment

  1. One reason why Facebook's page views growth is bigger than its ad-revenues growth may be that advertisers are relunctant showing ads into User Generated Content. In other words, Facebook may have difficulties selling their own adspace (which is largely compensated by its incredible growth).
    So building an adnetwork would not be a bad idea for them: using their unique targetting capabilities to place ads on regular, controled, not-UCG content, may be the ultimate ad-platform...

    Reply

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