Facebook Debuts 4th Ad Placement

While a new Cowan and Company report suggests Facebook’s 2010 ad sales will total $1.6 billion, the social site has made a pair of moves that may drive that number higher.

It has implemented a fourth ad placement below the fold that will allow users to click through for a special offer or to “like” a brand. In other words, for the last three months of this year, the social site will be selling 33 percent more ad inventory than Cowan and Company was likely taking into consideration. The fourth ad placement “was rolled out this week,” Annie Ta told ClickZ via an e-mail today.

Secondly, Facebook appears to want marketers to be more comfortable about thinking longer term with their ad purchases. It has installed a “lifetime budgeting” system – sometime in the last week, according to Ta – while essentially replacing the daily spending limit program the site has had in place.

While single-day purchases will still be available, the new system allows advertisers to run campaigns for days or weeks with specific start/stop dates and times. It meters a campaign’s daily spend evenly across those dates.

First reported by InsideFacebook.com, here’s how Facebook’s help center describes lifetime budgeting: “If you specify $100 USD [as the lifetime budget for a] 10 day campaign, each day theoretically will need to spend $10/day. If the campaign only spends $8 on the first day, the system will try to make up the missed amount at a later date within the campaign.”

Facebook’s New Stats Look Good for Publishers

And nearly six months into Facebook’s open graph era, the Palo Alto, CA-based company wants to beat its chest a little about how “Like” buttons are driving traffic to publishers and other sites. On its blog yesterday, it said that “likers” click on 5.3 times more links to external sites when compared to other Facebook users.

Likers also distribute content via their newsfeeds at a higher clip, the in-house study found, since they have 2.4 times more friends on Facebook than non-likers. Also, the median age of likers is 34, while the average newspaper subscriber, according to Newspaper Association of America, is 54.

Display advertisers may also find the following publisher-oriented statistics interesting. Facebook says that these sites have seen big increases in traffic since implementing social plug-ins – like, share, or recommend buttons – during recent months.

– ABC News + 190 percent
– The Sporting News (TSN.com) + 500 percent
– Gawker + 200 percent
– Typepad + 200 percent

In addition, Facebook says that NBA.com is reporting the social site as its second-best referral source. And due to the social plug-ins, NHL.com readers are apparently viewing 92 percent more articles, watching 86 percent more videos, and spending 85 percent more time on the site.

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