Facebook Launches Polling Ads

NEW YORK Advertisers seeking to crack the code on reaching Facebook’s growing audience have a new weapon in their arsenal: polls.
CareerBuilder is the first advertiser to test a new ad format on the popular social network. The placement advertises CareerBuilder’s Super Bowl ad and asks users to vote on whether the Arizona Cardinals or Pittsburgh Steelers will win the game. The ad shows the total number of votes and how many of the user’s friends have voted. After voting, users see the breakdown of voting on Facebook. They can also see how their friends voted.
AT&T and the World Economic Forum are also lined up to use the polling ad unit, which Facebook plans to make available broadly following what it called an “initial test period” of a few months.
The polling ad is part of Facebook’s second effort to integrate advertisers into the fabric of the site beyond standard banner units. Engagement ads look to mimic already popular activities on the site, like “fanning,” sending virtual gifts and RSVPing to events.
Engagement ads are shown in the upper right corner of the site’s main page and within the news feed, where they are marked as sponsor messages.
When a user takes an action with an ad, such as voting for which team will win the Super Bowl, Facebook sends notification of this to the user’s friend network in their news feeds.
Like those, the polling ad is priced based on impressions.
Facebook’s direct sales force handles engagement ads, while Microsoft has the bulk of the site’s banner impressions through a $240 million investment it made in October 2007.