Facebook is bulldozing towards its IPO at valuations around $100 billion, €74.4 billion. But, at the same time, its revenue is significantly smaller, less than $4 billion, €3 billion in 2011. What’s more, there are signs that revenue growth is slowing and that it’s below expectations.
So the site has to start expanding its ad options and it’s doing just that, but not in a way most people are going to be happy about.
Facebook has announced several new ad types and has also announced that it’s introducing ads for mobile devices. The biggest change is that there will be ads in the news feed now, except Facebook aren’t calling those ads, it says they’re stories.
It’s the same rhetoric that Twitter uses for Promoted Tweets in the timeline and it’s no coincidence, since the two ad types are pretty much the same.
The idea is that brands should create content that will double as ads, something most people figure out as the web started to mature. An interesting story posted on the new timeline Facebook Pages, which were introduced yesterday, could serve as an ad that will show up on fans’ news feed.
This is part of a new Premium set of ad options. Also included is the ability to place ads on the log-out screen. These ads will take up most of the page, though it remains to be seen how effective they are given their placement.
Facebook is also offering a new ad option that will guarantee that content will make it in front of at least 75 percent of a brand’s fans dubbed Reach Generator. Even the most popular Facebook pages still have trouble engaging with many of their fans. This new advertising tool should fix that.
Finally, Facebook is reintroducing Offers, an ad program that will allow companies to offer discounts and special deals via the site. Facebook announced the new options at its Facebook Marketing Conference, fMC.