A granular Facebook, richer Twitter
Facebook installed a rather significant gate into its walled garden this week ‑‑ a user's browsing history will soon follow them when they visit Facebook. Advertisers will be able to bid on Marketplace Ads to reach specific users tracked by cookies. TechCrunch provided a step by step explanation of how 'Facebook Exchange' will be set up and the Business Insider blog provided an official explanation from a Facebook spokesperson, obviously wary of another privacy battle. Users who research a weekend on the slopes at a travel site will see an ad for a ski resort the next time they visit Facebook. The Rimm-Kaufman Group described a potential game changer for Facebook, who now will have more competition for its Marketplace inventory which might also prove more effective through better targeting. On the flip side, advertisers are only being given access to prospects that they have already reached, and this time in the uncertain Facebook advertising environment.
Twitter went way outside the 140 character limit in a big way this week with 'expanded Tweets', allowing selected partners to provide article previews, images and video through Twitter.com. There were no direct revenue opportunities mentioned but the rich Tweets might keep users at Twitter.com a few seconds longer and could morph into paid versions down the road.