3rd Party Facebook Ads Still Sucking

Soon after the Facebook platform launched last year, there was an influx of advertising networks racing to fill the new inventory provided by applications. These networks became the primary source of advertising revenue for most of the applications and while there have been monetization partnerships with outside vendors, most of the advertising still comes from third parties.

This afternoon I was looking at an application and saw the ad pictured below. The ad says “You Are Dumb”. Now while the accuracy of the advertisement may be unproven, the ad itself is pretty stupid. So far there appears to be no large brands that are advertising via the third parties without some sort of application tie in which presents a large problem for these ad networks.

If all these ad networks provide is advertising for other applications, how large can they really get? There is also the issue of Facebook competing directly with the advertisers for large advertisement deals. As Ross Levinsohn, former CEO of Fox Interactive told Adage, “There isn’t enough advertising to support all those features, and in compression times, advertisers tend to flock to safe names and sites that have real traction.”

There’s always space for bottom of the barrel advertising, but when it comes to attracting the high CPMs, most of the third-party ad networks (if not all of them) are struggling to come up with solutions. As such, we see that 18 months after the launch of the platform, there are still ads like the one below. At the same time, it appears that there has been a slight improvement in the quality of ads on Facebook.

Unfortunately for Facebook, as I wrote earlier this week, there is still not enough good inventory on Facebook. What do you think the future of 3rd party ad networks on Facebook holds?