Facebook appears to be taking a new approach to the way it serves ads that could bring in more revenue. Attentive Facebook ad observers may have noticed ads shown in the right sidebar on Facebook pages suddenly transforming. It turns out Facebook is now rotating ads while users remain on a single page.
"We recently made a change to some pages that show ads on Facebook that allows ads to be replaced with others after an extended period of time," a Facebook spokesperson told ClickZ. "This change was implemented a few weeks ago and we think this will help people see more relevant ads."
Indeed, most likely Facebook is altering ads displayed on an otherwise-static page in the hopes of generating higher click-through rates. If a user is not clicking the ads originally served when he visits a page, Facebook may replace those with ads its system determines to be more relevant.
Traditionally on Facebook and across the web, targeted display ads are served when a page is loaded and remain constant until a user leaves the page or refreshes the page.
Since the firm's botched IPO, Facebook has dodged criticism about its ability to bring in the amount of ad revenue investors originally expected. Following a quiet period, the company has been vocal about its plans to create more ad revenue. For instance, the firm recently announced plans to launch a real-time ad exchange, opening its site up to a large pool of data for display ad targeting.
The ad rotation change appears to be a less-public way for Facebook to optimize its current approach to ad sales and services.
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
March 19, 2014