Substantial Growth in Ads Is on the Way to Facebook

By TANZINA VEGA, NY Times
Published: February 29, 2012

Facebook’s hundreds of millions of users could soon be faced with a lot more advertising — in their newsfeed, on their mobile devices and even when they log off.

On Wednesday, the company announced a new suite of advertising products intended to insert more ads into Facebook’s traditionally clean interface and to take more advantage of mobile ads, where the company has struggled. The announcement was made at its first marketing conference, held at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan.

For users, the announcement could mean many more ads on Facebook. For advertisers, the effort offers a chance to reach more users in more places.

Despite aggressively courting Madison Avenue for the last few years, Facebook has been an anomaly in the world of digital advertising. The ad units offered less creative options for advertisers who want to, say, take over the site’s home page or add moving text to an ad. Rather, the value in Facebook’s ads was in their data and personalization.

The potential for more ad dollars was reflected in the company’s first filing for a public offering in February. At the time, analysts said the company was expected to be valued at $75 billion to $100 billion. But according to the filing, Facebook made only $3.7 billion in revenue last year, the bulk of that from advertising.

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