Facebook Places and Implications for Online Advertising

Posted on September 2, 2011 by lizzie

Facebook is rolling out its new Places feature to the Facebook for iPhone and touch.facebook.com. Find out what the exciting implications of this are for online advertising.

Using Places

Facebook Places is a new feature that lets you ‘check-in’ to Places, view where your friends are, and add new Places for anyone to be able to check in to. Your check-ins will appear in your friends’ newsfeeds (depending on how you edit your Places privacy settings) and users will be able to click through check-ins to view a Place’s page.

 

The major difference in this from Foursquare, is that on Facebook Places you can have conversations, leaving likes, comments etc. Oh, and the little fact that there are 500 million people on Facebook already…

Using Places as a Business

If you’re the official representative of a Place, you can lay claim to it online, and gain admin access. Then, you can use that Place page to list business info and update people who Like your Place.  You can merge your Place page with your official Page, and migrate your Likes, photos, and wall posts from the Page to the Place page, and showing the Page tabs as a list of icons down the left hand column.

Using Places Data for Advertising

Facebook is allowing sites using Connect and 3rd party apps to access your Places data and that of your friends, unless you deactivate the Facebook Platform or uncheck all the “info available through my friends” boxes in Application Settings.

All this has huge implications for location based advertising, as we will be able to target users as they surf the internet with relevant offers and info depending on where they are and what they are into! (Assuming they are logged into FB while surfing and users have not changed their privacy settings).

Here are some ways we might be able to use the information.

 

1) Display Advertising

We’ll be able to pull Places API data right through into display ads, to display where your friends are, within a ‘live data’ ad format.

2) Websites

We’ll be able to use Places information on sites: e.g. integrate your friends’ photos in websites, rather than just showing the ‘official’ photographs.

3) Live event integration

We’ll be able to show you a stream of comments from your friends who’ve checked in at a live event you are watching online.

Overall, Places is going to be a big deal. It’s going to be very easy to use, completely integrated within the Facebook Platform, so not taking you away from where your network already is. And being able to tag your friends is an innovative differentiation from other location-based apps.

It’s very big news for location-based advertising, and if Facebook sorts out the privacy settings so people can really control who knows what and where they are, it may be what keeps Facebook one step ahead. But ultimately it will mean that you don’t miss out next time you’re stuck at home and your friends are all out in a bar round the corner!

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