Facebook has had a great week, with its stock price rising about 14% after a positive earnings report included the news that mobile was now 53% of ad revenue. One announcement that was of interest mostly to social marketers was the rollout and expansion of Custom Audiences.
Originally announced last October as a program that would display Facebook ads based on supplied email addresses and/or phone numbers, Custom Audiences can now target Facebook users based on their activity on an advertiser's web site and mobile app. Jon Loomer published a comprehensive look at how Custom Audiences are set up and operate. Facebook provided additional detail on mobile usage. Advertisers can insert code snippets into their web pages and mobile apps that allow Facebook to track user activity without their knowledge (what could possibly go wrong with that?).
Facebook provided some usage examples that focused on retargeting users who had abandoned the shopping process, searching for items or placing them in a cart without buying. Marketing Pilgrim wrote about the power of 'excluding' segments, using Custom Audiences to reawaken dormant customers while not disturbing active ones.
One of the tenets of Facebook's earning call was that they would be creating more standalone apps. The first of which, and the first from their Creative Labs project, is Paper, a highly visual newsreader influenced by but not totally independent on the user's News Feed (human editors are involved). Ars technica explained how Paper will work as an extension of the Facebook franchise while taking the user away from the conventional trappings of Facebook.