Facebook Ad Wars

On the Facebook platform there is a battle waging. The battle is between advertising networks, all scrambling to get a piece of the highly lucrative ad market. Today, Om Malik highlights the Appfuel network which is one of close to 10 ad networks currently on Facebook. They are by no means the last company to join the race. Many have questioned whether or not Google will decide to hop in as well. Chances are they will join via their new platform which they are announcing at the beginning of Novemeber.

Currently, RockYou and Social Media are the dominant players in the Facebook ad market. Once Facebook decides to join, all that may change. Regardless, the one thing that is slowly becoming apparent is how important targeting is. If you send 100 untargeted users to your application, there is no measure of value (aside from the number of users that joined). Being able to determine a user’s intentions and desires is going to be a critical point of success for many of these companies. Any company that provides untargeted ads is only in the market for the short-run.

Last night I had the opportunity to speak with one person who plans on hopping into the ad market in the coming weeks. He discussed the importance of intentions and I couldn’t agree more. Previously, I had stressed the value in being able to target ads based on gender and age in addition to location. The reality is that all those things are pretty much worthless if you don’t know what the person’s intentions are.

In the coming months we are going to witness a significant shift in advertising as ad networks become more advanced in their ability to target based on our intentions. The race is on to be the first to market and the race isn’t ending anytime soon. It is well known that both Google and Facebook are entering this market, but the real question is when. For all the smaller players in the market, now is the time to grab up as much market share before the big companies join in. It will be interesting to see how this all pans out.