SocialSocial MediaFacebook Tests Fifth Ad Placement

Facebook Tests Fifth Ad Placement

Social site may have bolstered Q4 ad sales by adding a fourth placement last fall.

Facebook has been testing a fifth ad placement on photo pages, ClickZ has learned. The Palo Alto, CA-based company is apparently seeing if it can squeeze in another paid promotion above the fold on the right-hand side of its site design. (See image.)

facebookfifthadWhen asked via e-mail, Facebook spokesperson Annie Ta told ClickZ, “We’re constantly testing different iterations and layouts of our ads. We have nothing else to share at this time.”

The social media site added a fourth ad placement in September, and the move seemingly paid off. At that time, a Cowan and Company report suggested Facebook’s 2010 ad sales would total $1.6 billion.

But the fourth ad gave Facebook 33 percent more inventory on pages where it appeared for 2010’s final quarter. And now, eMarketer’s report shows that the social site looks to have exceeded Cowan and Company’s expectations, estimating that Facebook earned $1.86 billion in ad revenue last year.

After a big year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Co. are not resting on their laurels. In the last week, they have also added a feature that, at least in part, appears designed to enrich the geo-targeting possibilities on its marketing platform. It is serving a sidebar module that reads: “Which city do you live in?” Underneath the copy appears a city and state, such as “San Francisco, California,” as well as a picture from the city’s Facebook community page.

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.

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