Last week, Facebook tested “real-time” ads on 1% of its users—that’s 6 million people. The highly influential, and moreover global social network, is anxious to see how users to react when their status updates and wall posts prompt instantaneous, targeted ads to appear on-screen, in real-time. Coupons, videos, plain text ads—not necessarily about the sale, though that’s obviously ideal, but moreover about presenting the consumer with synchronous information/ads while logged on to a site they “hit” nearly every day.
The article uses an example tying relevant Gatorade ads to a status update about the gym. My ideal vision would be something like this:
Status update: “Would love to be in Texas right now.”
Real-time ad: “Discounted flights from EWR to DFW!” brought to you by Hotwire.com, AirTran, Continental—virtually any airline or site that offers the flight service.
You get the picture. Whether it be a coupon, a video, or a simple print ad, the idea is inventive and could have a powerful impact among social media users worldwide. Relevant ads are key. Who wants to be burdened by an ad that has nothing to do with their interests and thoughts? Your status says “I love my Pomeranian,” and you’re presented with a 30-day free trial of “Purina” cat food. That wouldn’t work. We’re overloaded with information constantly, to the point where we feel inundated by the simplest ad or promotional offer that misses the “spam” label and pops up in our inbox.
With the revolutionary impact Facebook has had on our society (yes, society), I’m confident that if anyone can provide relevant, real-time ads—and more importantly, do it right—it’ll be the site with over 500 million active, loyal users.