App-vertising

 

I stopped using Facebook about a year to a year and a half ago. I can’t say that I really miss it, but I do know plenty of people that still love to use it. Before I left, and before I was even an advertising/public relations major, I noticed that whenever I typed something into my status update that the advertisements on the side would change. I found this interesting and would constantly type in random things just to see what the ad would change to.

 

Those who use Facebook tend to primarily use it to keep in touch with family or friends, so most of us don’t think of it as an advertising company. Well, it’s safe to say that they are just that, a mobile advertising company. Much of the success comes from News Feed advertising and their mobile app install advertising business (Lynley, 2014). With Facebook’s user base constantly growing, the data they pluck from their users will ultimately add to their ad revenue growth.

 

One of the genius parts of Facebook’s advertising strategy is the previously mentioned mobile app install advertising business. How this works is that Facebook puts an ad up with the mobile app install button and a brief description of what the app does and then app makers pay Facebook an average amount of $2.50 to $3.00 for every user that downloads their app (Lynley, 2013). While other sites do something similar for cheaper, Facebook is pretty much the king because of their reach and user base.

 

 

Under 4,000 app developers have used this service, but it has resulted in over 25 million downloads which accounts for 30% of Facebook’s overall advertising revenue (Lynley, 2013). Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg said, “We’re excited about the mobile app install ads, it’s a small but growing category” (Lynley, 2014).

 

What is interesting about the way Facebook has gone about generating revenue through advertisements online is that many other online businesses are struggling to make money with ads due to the popularity of ad blockers, which I admittedly use, or ease of ignoring the ads. For instance, if I’m listening to Slacker Radio and an ad comes on for my free service, I either ignore it by concentrating on something else or I turn down the sound for 30 seconds or so (which is a popular length for advertisements).

 

The idea of allowing app makers to pay you to put an ad on your site which leads to downloads for them is an interesting idea. We all use smart phones and we all use apps so while we may ignore the intrusive banners or commercials, seeing a cool app is more likely to get someone to click on that advertisement. This is something for all of to keep in the back our minds when going into an advertising field since Facebook seems to be onto something here!

 

 

References

Lynley, M. (2013, June 19). Inside the surprisingly non-evil ad system saving facebook’s business. BuzzFeed Business, Retrieved from http://www.buzzfeed.com/mattlynley/inside-the-surprisingly-non-evil-ad-system-saving-facebooks

 

Lynley, M. (2014, January 29). Facebook is now a very profitable mobile advertising company. BuzzFeed Business, Retrieved from http://www.buzzfeed.com/mattlynley/facebook-is-finally-a-mobile-advertising-company

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Seamless Integration or Misleading Deceit? Post #3

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Browsing my Facebook newsfeed, I couldn’t help but notice something familiar. A handbag that I had been looking at online a few weeks ago had magically appeared on the side bar of my feed. I knew this was the result of cookies and began to scan the feed for interesting news from friends. As I scrolled down, I noticed an integrated ad placement for yet another website I had visited with the caption “Go for it! You know we offer free shipping and free returns” (Facebook). This advertisement looked exactly how a post from a Facebook friend of mine would look and also had a few likes from friends. This is an example of how Facebook uses integrated advertisement to reach consumers that are otherwise averse to traditional online advertising methods.

According to Todd Wasserman, native advertisement such as the previous Facebook ad example is a way for advertisers to reach a different consumer base in a seamless and natural way (Mashable). Typical banner-style advertisement is still a common practice but does not yield as much interest as in-feed advertisements. This is partly due to the fact that consumers are trained to ignore banners and side advertisements and focus on the general content. Mark Suster of TechCrunch calls this banner blindness (Techcrunch). Native advertisements are delivered in social media streams in order to better capture the interest of consumers. Because consumers are relaxed while going through their news feeds, many do not realize that a post is indeed an ad.

This raises an alarming question for many Facebook users. While it is commonplace to feature advertisements in side panels and in banners, the integration of advertisements into a personal communication feed is seen as dishonest in some consumers’ eyes. While in-feed advertisements are an excellent way to personalize and deliver customizable information to consumers, it can mislead consumers. For example, Nordstrom uses in-feed advertisements to promote their new products and sales. These advertisements are sponsored but are also displayed as ‘recommended’ by Facebook friends. This is indeed an innovative way to add peer recommendation to a product or company; however, many of the friends associated with such products did intend to back up the campaign. In this way, many consumers are left confused and are not able to discern in-feed advertisements with genuine recommendations from friends.

 

 

Example2 copy

 

Example of In-Feed advertisement from Nordstrom.

 

References

“Home Page.” Facebook. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2013. <facebook.com>.

Suster, Mark. “The Future of Advertising Will Be Integrated | TechCrunch.” TechCrunch. N.p.,

n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2013. <http://techcrunch.com/2011/04/29/the-future-of-advertising-will-be-  integrated/>.

Wasserman, Todd. “This Infographic Explains What Native Advertising Is.” Mashable. N.p., n.d.

Web. 21 Sept. 2013. <http://mashable.com/2012/12/13/infographic-native-advertising/>.

Yu, Dennis. ” How to snipe just one person’s News Feed with Facebook ads – Inside Facebook .”

Inside Facebook – Tracking Facebook and the Facebook Platform for Developers and 

Marketers . N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2013. <http://www.insidefacebook.com/2013/08/09/how-

to-snipe-just-one-persons-news-feed-with-facebook-ads/>.