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Facebook Tweak May Improve Ad Geo-Targeting

  |  January 18, 2011   |  Comments

Social site asks users for city-specific data after earning $1.86 billion in ad sales last year.

Facebook earned a whopping $1.86 billion in ad revenue last year, according to an eMarketer estimate, but the company is not resting on its laurels. It has added a feature that, at least in part, appears designed to enrich the geo-targeting possibilities on its marketing platform.

facebookwhichcityPalo Alto, CA-based Facebook is serving a sidebar module that reads: "Which city do you live in?" Underneath the copy (see image) appears a city and state, such as "San Francisco, California," as well as a picture from the city's Facebook community page. InsideFacebook.com first reported the change.

Viewers can click an "I live here" button to add that city to their user profile without leaving the current page. They can also click a "Choose another city" link to go to the profile editor and choose a city. The module disappears if a user clicks the "x" button. Facebook users who already list their current city are apparently not being fed the sidebar module.

Clearly, the idea is to get more of its 550 million users to include where they live in the profile data, which will be utilized in ad targeting for local restaurants, entertainment events, and daily deals marketers.

Separately, Goldman Sachs will limit the availability of its Facebook shares to foreign investors, due to concerns that the deal could run afoul of U.S. securities regulations. The development comes two weeks after the huge investment firm made known its $450 million stake in the seven-year-old Facebook.

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Christopher Heine

Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.

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