Earlier this week, Inside Facebook detailed the nascent market surrounding Facebook Page squatting: some entrepreneurs are building Facebook Pages around local cities and towns and trying to sell ad space on them for profit.
However, while the future of Facebook Page squatting in light of Facebook’s intentions for Pages may be questionable (Facebook wants Pages to be managed and operated by an authorized agent), that’s not stopping some from selling ad space on their own (legitimate) Pages.
The State Farm sponsorship on Us Weekly’s Facebook page, which is not yet live, extends a campaign State Farm is already running with the celeb magazine. But Us Weekly plans to use Facebook page sponsorships as added value or independent ad inventory for other advertisers after that.
“We do anticipate that this becomes another tool in our tool chest, among meaningful ways to let brands reach our audience in a very credible, differentiated environment,” said Steven Schwartz, the chief digital officer at Us Weekly’s parent, Wenner Media, since January.
While Us Weekly’s Facebook Page only has 3,000 fans (it is in the process of launching a new version with the help of Involver), some Facebook Pages have several million, and could theoretically sell various kinds of sponsorship integration.
What does Facebook think of that idea?
“Currently we do not restrict Facebook Page owners from having sponsors on their public profiles. But, if brands are looking to create and maintain lasting connections with people our Engagement Ads are the single best way to do that,” a Facebook spokesperson tells Inside Facebook.
It’s probably a net positive for Facebook for there to be a market for Facebook Page inventory, but Facebook will be paying close attention to see how the market for Facebook Page inventory develops. Facebook has allowed application developers on the Facebook Platform to sell their own inventory with almost no restrictions since it launched in 2007, and recently started alpha testing its own in-house ad network for app developers.