Facebook kicked off another test this week that places FBX and Marketplace ads between pages of Graph Search results. But instead of being targeted to search queries, these ads use standard targeting and retargeting and appear at the bottom of the page — only if there’s more than one page of results.
Mark Zuckerberg hinted that ads would come to Graph Search, but it looks like the social network is starting off small, or more conservatively than advertisers might like. Instead of search typeahead ads, which let companies appear above competitors or related businesses, the first Graph Search ads are essentially new placement.
At this time, these ads will only appear to a small group of members who have Graph Search. When someone performs a search and ends up on the results page, if there’s more than one page of results, he or she will see two or three ads in a row below the fold and just before the page break. We should note that this will only happen for Graph Searches, not web searches.
The Graph Search ads look similar to Facebook’s standard sidebar ads with a headline, thumbnail image, body of text, and an internal or external link. These ads are being targeted based on interests, demographics, and data from the Facebook Exchange or Custom Audiences.
Although a new ad type hasn’t been introduced yet, it seems like an inevitable result. Facebook has opened the door, and if these initial tests go well — meaning the ads lead to clickthroughs and brand lift — they’ll likely be rolled out to all members with Graph Search. Eventually, Facebook might start letting advertisers target based on keywords people search.
In the meantime, there are several advertising options available to brands, including some that utilize search. If you’re interested in this method, we recommend taking a look at Sponsored Results which are available through the Power Editor and Ads API. This ad type lets you buy ads in the typeahead search results — rather than bidding on keywords, you target specific Pages, Places, or Apps.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.