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Why doesn’t Facebook get into off-platform advertising?

June 5, 2012

The magic of Google isn’t just in advertising to behavior on search engines. Although, that is most of the magic.

Google is also in the contextual advertising business. I have Google Ads on my other blog.

Google 的貼牌冰箱(Google Refrigerator)

Google 的貼牌冰箱(Google Refrigerator) (Photo credit: Aray Chen)

When I write about – say Curling – the ads on that blog are about Curling products. The ads are in context. People who read a blog post on Curling will most-likely be the kind of people who might respond to a Curling ad.

Google took this to the content creators and let them make a bit of money by getting eyeballs.


So, why doesn’t Facebook advertise to people – instead of context? Quick poll:

Do you ever log out of Facebook?

My answer is a definite no. I’m logged into Facebook a lot. As are most people. Thus, Facebook can advertise to us in the content world. Instead of using the Google algorithm of placing a Curling ad on a post about Curling, Facebook could deliver a Curling ad to me on any piece of content I read. It wouldn’t matter. And it wouldn’t need cookies because Facebook would always know it was me (because I’m logged in).

It might mean opting in: but there is value for me. Facebook could offer occasional groupon-like deals to people who opted in. The internet would be filled with ads for things I liked – since Facebook has that data.

And no, I don’t think it is big brotherish for Facebook to use the data I willingly gave them to send me product pitches for things people like me liked.

Crowd sourced ads. That’s where Facebook could be.

What do you think? Would you opt in?

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