Facebook looks to interactive adverts

The social network site wants to 'engage' users with ads, not drive them away

It's been the bane of social network and user-generated sites for years now – how to make money out a website that's extremely popular.

The makers of Facebook hope that they have cracked it with their new advertising system, dubbed 'Engagement Advertisements'.

Although it sounds like some dodgy campaign to cash in on pre-wedding lovers, the recently launched system allows users to interact with adverts on the site.

The new adverts allow users to add comments and share virtual gifts.


Although Facebook hasn't officially announced the ad system, an analyst at Forresters, Jeremiah Owyang, has spoken to Tim Kendall, Director of Monetization, at Facebook and revealed all about the new adverts on his blog.

"To combat dismal click through rates of traditional advertisements, these features emulate widgets and encourage users to increase member adoption, viral growth, and brand interaction," writes Owyang.

He follows this with a note of caution: "Brands will only succeed with these 'WidgetAds' if they create content that puts community first, lean on new interactions, integrate with other tools, plan for the long haul, and change how they measure success – traditional internet advertising tactics won't apply."

Three types of advert

The blog goes on to point out the three different versions of interactive ads. These are: Comment Style Ad, where members can leave comments on the ads, much like wall posts; Virtual Gifts Style Ad, where brands can create virtual items that users can share, much like the virtual gifts in Facebook; and Fan Style Ad, where users can be fans of certain products and companies (Apple, Guitar Hero etc).


Content Team Lead

Marc (Twitter, Google+) is the content team lead for Future Technology, where he is in charge of a 14-strong team of journalists who write many of the wonderful stories that end up on TechRadar, T3.com and T3 magazine. Prior to this he was deputy editor of TechRadar, had a 10-month stint editing a weekly iPad magazine, written film reviews for a whole host of publications and has been an integral part of many magazines that are no longer with us.