Facebook has thrown down the gauntlet in front of Google, introducing an online ad platform designed to help businesses reach its social network of 50 million users.
With industry pundits predicting that Facebook would usher in a new era of socially-networked advertising, the Palo Alto, Calif., company introduced Facebook Ads, an ad system to help businesses target advertising to audiences they want through friends referrals.
Facebook Ads, announced by CEO Mark Zuckerberg at an event in New York on Nov. 6, also includes an ad system that spreads brand messages virally through Facebook Social Ads and an interface that can be used by marketers to gauge relevant user activities on the site.
Zuckerberg introduced Facebook Ads with the support of key partners, including Blockbuster, CBS, JPMorgan Chase, The Coca-Cola Company, Microsoft, Sony Pictures Television and Verizon Wireless.
Click here to read more about Facebooks pledge to get into online ads.
To champion Facebook Ads, more than 100,000 new Facebook pages launched today, allowing users to interact and affiliate with businesses and organizations in the same way that they interact with other Facebook user profiles.
Businesses can add photos, videos, music and Facebook Platform applications. Moreover, third-party developers have created applications to enhance Facebook pages, allowing users to book reservations or share reviews of restaurant pages.
In one example, Coca-Cola will feature its Sprite brand on a new Facebook page, inviting users to add an application to their account called "Sprite Sips," which will allow users to create an animated Sprite Sips character they can share with their friends on Facebook.
Zuckerberg said advertising messages will be distributed through the social graph, a network of connections through which people get together and share information online. When people check out a business Facebook page, they will trigger the spread of information about that business throughout the social graph.