Facebook are planning to introduce TV-style adverts to users’ news feeds, selling spots to companies for up to $2.5 million (£1.64m) a day.
Individuals familiar with the matter spoke to Bloomberg and suggested that the new approach could be introduced as early as the end of the year.
Advertisers still spend much more on TV advertising than they do on online equivalents, citing an engaged audience as the key advantage, and internet companies are keen to muscle in on this action.
With 1.15 billion users and with 61 per cent of those using the site daily Facebook certainly has the potential audience, and with the centralisation of the newsfeed it might also be able to offer that same ‘engaged audience’.
Advertisers can already upload videos to their Facebook page and have these broadcast into users’ news feeds, but the new service would presumably insert adverts from companies that users haven’t directly expressed an influence in.
Bloomberg’s sources say that users might see 15-second adverts “no more than three times in a given day” and that Facebook have already pushed back the launch of the new service several times due to worries that it would compromise the user experience.
Although Bloomberg’s reports are only concerned with the US market, it would be expected than similar schemes would eventually be introduced to the UK.
The ability to capture screen real estate during primetime would be extremely attractive to advertisers, especially considering recent Ofcom reports detailing the rise of ‘dual screening’ – individuals watching TV whilst also using tablets or smartphones.
If TV cannot offer advertisers the complete ‘engaged audience’ it once could then targeting the younger generation - always the most profitable for brands – across a range of devices will be the next step.
The most recent financial reports from Facebook have boosted the consumer confidence in the social network, with jumps in the company’s share price matching reports of strong mobile growth. The company recorded a 51% increase in mobile users to 819m.
Facebook’s share price rose by 40% over the week, boosting founder Mark Zuckerberg’s fortune by just under $5bn and boosting him in the world’s rich list from 75th to 42nd with a personal fortune of $17bn.