Justin Smith of Inside Facebook posted an extensive interview with Facebook vice president of global sales Mike Murphy in which they discussed the state of and future of advertising on the social-networking site.
Some highlights from Murphy:
I joined the company almost four years ago, and what we had then were IAB banners that were like most of what was on the rest of the Web. We realized quickly that the better we did to display advertising as part of our product, the better we delivered value to our users and advertisers. So we’ve been really focused on developing ad units that include social context so that they feel more like the rest of the content on Facebook. You can see that both on our engagement ads and performance ads today.
We’re helping big brands and agencies to find the right balance between commercial and noncommercial messages. It really varies by category, and they’re learning as they go. We have 1.4 million Pages right now (but we don’t talk about what percentage of those are commercial).
I was meeting with a financial-services firm recently who said they didn’t want their premium customers to think they were “playing with the kids” on Facebook. I told them you may not be taking into consideration that there are already 300 pages and groups on Facebook that are already talking about your brand. Eventually, they decided they wanted to participate.
Developers are absolutely using our advertising platform in a big way. I can’t talk about specific numbers, but what we’re seeing from the developer community is that they’re experiencing success in using our performance ads. They are helping us innovate around the ad system.
One of the great things about the Microsoft partnership is they bring us a global footprint, giving us a channel in a lot of places that have been really important to us. They’re selling banner advertising in a number of markets.
In terms of product, we mainly do a lot of iteration, but measurement is going to be an important part of what we’re doing next year. Most digital just delivers impression and click data. The Nielsen announcement we made is the first step toward providing significant info beyond impression and click data.
A year ago, marketers were looking at Facebook as a place to experiment. Now they’re looking at it as a place to make their home.
There once was a time when we were trying to get our first brand on Facebook. Now 83 of top 100 ad spenders are doing something and have a Facebook strategy. The amount of momentum there is significant.