Last month Facebook implemented the beta version of their search based ads and are now offering it to some advertisers through their Power Editor. If you haven’t noticed the new advertisements, they appear in the search box at the top of the site when you enter a particular term that is being targeted by an advertiser. Here’s an example when I enter the term “dating”:
Notice how the Match.com application shows up first in the list under sponsored. Currently these ad formats are only available for fan pages, applications, or custom tabs that keep the user on the Facebook platform. You’re not able to target external URLs (bummer). The feature is also said to now be available through their ads API. Beta testers included companies such as Match.com, Zynga, EA, Disney Interactive Media Group, King.com and Kixeye.
Obviously this is a step towards more aggressive user monetization as the search box is one of the most used features on the site (according to a Facebook spokesperson). Most-of-the-time the advertisement(s) will appear first in the results, but in some instances a “top hit” will be shown first.
As of this writing we’ve been unable to access the new unit in our Power Editor, so it’s likely the feature hasn’t been rolled out to all advertisers just yet. Things look to be getting rather interesting over there as they’re getting really serious about user monetization.