Verbs Could Open Up A $40 Billion Market For Facebook

Facebook may have opened the door to marketers' use of several verbs besides "like," but the company appears to be stalling -- so a market worth up to $40 billion has yet to be tapped. billion.

Facebook may have opened the door to marketers’ use of several verbs besides “like,” but the company appears to be stalling — so a market worth up to $40 billion has yet to be tapped.

Tech blogger Robert Scoble served on a panel Thursday with Paul Adams, advertising product manager for Facebook, who told him the social network is not currently working on a method to use verbs that are sprinkled throughout marketing efforts on the social network as a tool to push back with related advertising.

Pointing out that Facebook has a verb wall that blocks this type of use, Scoble used a video from app developer AllTrails as an illustration of how frequently verbs appear on the social network, mentioning verbs that were verbalized in the video, including walked, skied, boated, finished, ran, cycled, and climbed.

Mentioning that he rarely sees ads on Facebook when accessing the social network via a mobile device, Scoble outlined what the social network would have to do to begin taking advantage of this potentially enormous revenue source:

They will need to build a new messaging infrastructure for advertising. A lot of that is already built, but ads need to be portable, mobile friendly (form factors that work on iPhones and Android phones need to be standardized ), and need to be able to be passed through the contextual engine that Facebook is building (geeky way of saying “database that understands everything about you and your role in the world”) and out, through those verb interfaces, to be displayed on apps like Foodspotting, AllTrails, etc. …First, though, Mark will have to blow open the verb wall. So, Zuckerberg, this is all my way of saying, “Tear down this wall.”