Just weeks after the re-launch of its news feed, the revenue potential has become a little clearer as Facebook is to begin a targeted advertising trial.
The system being trialled is not new in itself; Facebook Exchange (FBX), has been on the platform for several months. Up until now though, the adverts it displays were limited to the right hand side of the page.
With the introduction of what Facebook is calling a “small alpha test” however, personalised ads will now appear in the news feed.
The ads, determined according to a user’s web use habits, will only be from a select group of advertisers throughout the trial.
In early March the social network updated its news feed in an attempt to get users to spend even more time on the platform. With the ultimate aim to drive up purchases, the updates included giving greater control to users over what they see in their feeds through a categorisation tool.
The new approach will, for the time being at least, only be available on desktop versions of Facebook. Mobile platforms will not see the changes implemented as yet.
Elisabeth Diana, spokesperson for Facebook, explained:
“Desktop is more in line with what FBX has been doing effectively in the right hand side. And we also find that desktop is the place where more people convert from seeing direct-response ads”
It is unclear how long the trial will run, and there have been no firm details of projections for its success. Already 84 per cent of Facebook’s revenue comes from FBX.