Today Facebook sent out a message to advertisers notifying them that there are two new features to target users with: language and target location radius. For example if you are searching for people in Washington, DC, you can now expand the distance beyond DC to a specific number of miles (10, 25, or 50). This is a huge upgrade for Facebook’s targeting.
Previously, in order to target based on language, you were forced to specify countries that you wanted to target. Frequently there are countries that have multiple languages and adding the language feature will help substantially. In regards to the new distance targeting, this means that advertisers can now specify metropolitan areas rather than just cities.
Previously if I targeted Washington, DC, I would use ads that included Arlington, Virginia, Bethesda, Maryland, and other local cities. I can imagine that these new features will be extremely useful for any advertiser looking to target Facebook’s more than 190 million users. One feature that I’m hoping Facebook launches soon is the ability to target by zipcode.
The timing of this is not surprising considering that Google announced today that advertisers can now target users based on interest. This move clearly reduced the value gap provided by Facebook advertising and other social networks like MySpace who offer targeting by interest. Facebook still has advertising advantages in that you can target based on an individual’s job position, age, location, and gender.
Have you taken advantage of Facebook’s advertising platform? What types of results are you seeing? Do you think Google’s new interests-based ad offering will detract from advertisers moving to Facebook?